Three decades of marriage
Mark Applebaum
Terry Longshore
Southern Oregon University Percussion Ensemble
Bryan Jeffs
Catalog Number: 
new classical

Menlo Park, CA

Release Date: 
Aug 28, 2015
Liner Notes: 
1 CD
One Sheet: 

The idea of layering pieces on top of each other to create new works is not new, but composer Mark Applebaum still makes it feel revolutionary with “30.” Composed for his wife on the occasion of their 30th anniversary, “30” consists of three intersecting, ten-minute long pieces for twelve percussionists. It is dedicated to percussionist Terry Longshore -- who was the work’s leading commissioner and also performs “The First Decade” on this recording.

Played separately, the pieces explore an evolving combination of percussion elements. “The First Decade” is a percussion solo, scored for a symmetric, stereo setup with identical instruments for each hand -- glass bottles, cowbells and woodblocks. “The Second Decade” is for a percussion quartet playing bass drums, concert toms, congas, snare drums, and other larger instruments. “The Third Decade” expands the palette wildly, encompassing everything from car brake drums to rolls of duct tape to ballpoint “click” pens to a lion’s roar.

Played simultaneously as “30,” the layers of the compositions interact and blend, evoking the complex ways in which a relationship matures and evolves over decades. As a suite, the album presents the entire work first, then piecemeal and then in subcombinations, allowing listeners to explore the work from different angles and at different depths.

Applebaum is Associate Professor of Composition at Stanford University whose compositions have been performed all over the world and commissioned by the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, the Kronos Quartet, the Spoleto Festival and others. Many of his pieces challenge the conventional boundaries of musical ontology and his TED talk has been seen by more than one million viewers.