Scaffold for Simon

I met Simon Roth in 2006 at the University of York and have loved his drumming ever since.

Nine years later I had an idea for a drum piece but I was not sure if it was possible, or if it sounded interesting. On a social trip to Cambridge I met up with some friends, including Simon, and handed him a piece of paper (which he subsequently mislaid!) with the following scheme: three lines, each designating a groove in a different tempo.

We were sat in his car and he tapped his hands on the steering wheel and nodded his head. Possible? He thought so.

The piece then developed as a conversation between these tempos, sometimes spare but becoming very complex in the middle. I also added to the mix the ‘fill’ (the line through the notehead) to bring a bit of variety.

What I like about the ‘Scaffold’ idea is that a different player could pick up this piece and it would have a totally different feel. Even the same player could prepare multiple versions of the same score using different grooves. Perhaps even a different instrument (guitar?) could take up the piece.

I have also been musing on the possibility of other ‘Scaffold’ pieces for different instruments that use similar methods. Instrumentalist friends may be receiving other scraps of ideas from me in the future!

Return to ntsmusic.

Published by N.T. Smith

Composer + Researcher

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