On Sunday I went and heard a percussion recital. On it I heard perhaps my favorite piece for solo thunder-sheet ever. (That’s not saying much, it’s the only one I’ve heard). This piece and another that I recently heard called To The Earth by Frederick Rzewski really opened my eyes as to the possibilities of a performer speaking to add to the drama of the work, as well as all the different timbral/compositional possibilities one has on a single thunder-sheet, or in To The Earth’s case, pitched flower pots. The piece I am speaking of (for thunder-sheet) is A Robe of Orange Flame by Christoper Deane. It hasn’t been recorded professionally yet it seems, so it is a real treat to see it live, and its impact is probably much greater that way as well.
The work essentially tells the history of Thich Quang Duc’s self immolation, first as a remembrance of the imagery from the composer’s personal point of view, then as a relation of the a New York Times reporter’s submission for copy and then finally as a child’s fable. If you have a chance to see either of these pieces I highly recommend you take it up, they are really cool.