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2 pianos, 2 percussion
6/12/2008 - 10/19/2008

I composed METAGONG, a three-movement work,  in 2008 for the New York New Music Ensemble, a group with which I have had a long and fruitful connection over morethan thirty years.

My motive was to explore the ringing sounds of metal instruments, especially as they interact with the two pianos.  The gongs and almglocken make very complex and beautiful sounds, full of inharmonicities that adorn their basic pitches.  These vary slightly from the more precise pitches of the pianos, and the delicious near-unisons they make I find charming.

This then is the sound-world for Metagong; of course once must also compose a structure that has expressive meaning and evolves through time.  This I have also provided, for too often in today's music a mere soundscape is thought sufficient.  I prefer music that goes somewhere as well as doing something, and that principle has guided me here.

I can't resist observing that this reluctantly provided note is an exception to my usual rule not to furnish verbal "explanations" of my compositions -- beyond the few facts of origin, forces, and the like.  I fear that sometimes we look to words for understanding, to thought about music rather than thought in music, to frame our reactions; and thus, I always would prefer to leave my hearer alone to make what she will of the experience of my music.

-CW, 24.ii.2013