In a display of percussion virtuosity, Axiom goes through many style, meter and texture changes. The piece borrows its shifting and changing time signatures from odd-meter progressive rock – even fully giving in to a common time backbeat.
Genre: Percussion Ensemble | # of Players: 5
Level: Medium | Duration: 9:00
Percussion 1 (Bells, Crotales, China Cymbal, Hi-Hat, Splash Cymbal, Drum Set - HH, Snare, Kick Drum)
Percussion 2 (Vibraphone, Bongos, Opera Gong, Temple Blocks)
Percussion 3 (Vibraphone, Splash Cymbal, 2 Congas, Crash Cymbal, 3 Woodblocks)
Percussion 4 (4.5 octave Marimba, 5 Concert Toms, Opera Gong, Cabasa)
Percussion 5 (5 octave Marimba, Sizzle Cymbal, Claves, Taiko Drum or Bass Drum )
Axiom was originally conceived and sketched for two highly advanced players. The genesis was that two percussionists of the highest caliber, through expanded multi-percussion set-ups, could create the feel and energy of a much larger ensemble. And by doing so, those percussionists could display their virtuosity.
Throughout the composition process, however, it became evident that a larger assemblage of players would be necessary to create the full sonority and impact of the piece. In somewhat of an homage to the original conception, several themes are kept in only two unaccompanied players’ hands, while other themes are played by duets within the context of the full ensemble.
While not programmatic in nature, Axiom may invoke a programmatic feel in its many style, meter and texture changes. The piece borrows its shifting and changing time signatures from odd-meter progressive rock – even fully giving in to a common time backbeat. In that way, the piece owes much to composer Christopher Rouse for his masterfully written, entertaining, and energetic percussion ensembles that are both fun to play and equally fun to listen to.
Axiom was premiered on November 18th, 2007 by the West Texas A&M University (Canyon, Texas) Percussion Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Susan Martin Tariq.