Cincinnati-based composer Daniel Harrison writes music that is characterized by unique combinations of timbres, evocative colors, and formal cohesion. Hear his piece Under the Sun for solo tam-tam performed by Carlos Camacho on our April 20 Solo Soundbox percussion concert in collaboration with Urban Artifact.
CSB: Could you tell us a little about your work as a composer?
DH: At a “shoptalk” level my work lately has explored recursive and fractal forms, synthetic modes, timbral mapping, and physical spatialization as a formal element. At a more abstract level my work seeks to explore our relationship between the familiar and the uncanny. I am truly fortunate to say that almost all of my music has been written for my friends across the country who have challenged and encouraged me in our collaborations.
CSB: What is the background to your piece for this concert, Under the Sun?
DH: Carlos Camacho and I began meeting to discuss the possibility of me writing a solo for him in early 2017. I was incredibly intrigued when he proposed that I write a piece for solo tam-tam. While this wasn’t my first time composing for tam-tam, it was my first time composing something substantial for it alone. Throughout 2017 Carlos and I regularly meet to workshop the piece. This was an incredibly difficult yet rewarding project that expanded my approach to writing for percussion. I conceived the form of Under the Sun as a series of expanding variations on surface texture, the complex of overtones created by the sounding body, and natural decay.
CSB: What are some of the upcoming projects and performances on your radar?