The Mathematics of Resonant Bodies

If flashbacks to math class still inspire sweaty palms and dry mouth, no need to worry: John Luther Adams and Steven Schick handle all the beat counting here. Even if you can still solve a quadratic equation, you have to wonder how Schick manages to keep it all straight over the course of this 70-minute piece for solo percussionist and related processed sounds. It doesn’t seem fair to isolate a movement out of this multifaceted work. The unrelenting sharp rat-a-tat of stick on drumhead that opens the piece gives way to sounds ranging from deep and distant rumbles and an orchestra of glassy ringing triangles to crashing symbols and an entire section dedicated to the air raid siren (that one’s definitely not to be missed). Written as a follow up to Adams’s Strange and Sacred Noise for percussion quartet, this music is similarly broad in size and scope, making Schick’s solo performance all the more remarkable.

—MS