By Steve Forman
|Percussion Music forTelevison|
|Click a title to listen.|
|Percussion Beds for TV cues for "Buffy the Vampre Slayer"- Composer: Chris Beck:.
|Hard to define this complex chase cue,
it's kind of a S.E .Asian Nightmare March..
...or something.. Chase4...
|More TV stuff- odd cues from the Survivor series
|Percussion Music for Motion Pictures|
|Spooky movie stuff. This from the film "Breakdown":.
"Don't Turn Around...".
|Here's just the percussion track for a cue from the movie "Jeremiah" scored by Bruce Broughton:.
|Music for Dance Performances|
|"Tarantula" An excerpt from "A Little Wilderness",
a suite for young dancers:.
|"Outside In", one of two collaborations with choreographer Alison Rootberg in 2006. While This work is completly assembled in Digital Performer and Pro-tools all the sounds are organic, sampled and programmed specifically for this piece. A lot of signal bending here..||Also with Alison Rootberg: "I Love You! - Goodbye!", a major performance piece for dance utilizing live musician/dancers, pre-recorded elements and video. The entire work is over forty minutes- this is a 5 minute promo with excerpts from many of the scenes.|
|Music for Solo Instruments|
|"Still Life", Three Dreams for Solo Harp. 2009
Perfomed by Hannah Phiilips, May 31, 2009
This music is a manifestation of three recurring dreams, or perhaps memories, of a year I spent living alone in a house far too large and far too quiet for any one soul to inhabit. “Still Life” was my condition there, a place and state I’d created for myself, however inadvertently. I know that sometimes I must have been very busy, working obsessively in my studio; I cobbled together a skip-load of stuff I’ll probably never look back at again. What I remember is the opposite; time suspended, an uncanny limbo, dead-calm afternoons and interminable nights so slow I would forget to breath. I remember a stray grey cat that sat for hours on end at my kitchen door yet never once came inside, though I left the door ajar for most of that year. Finally, reluctantly, I invited other people to move in and share that house, and everything loosened up for me, lightened up, and moved forward.
|I'm very pleased to post this beautiful performance by harpist Hannah Phillips, who premiered this work in Glasgow, May 2009.|
|"Too Much House" 2005, unaccompanied Tuba|
|"Mostly Moon Dust" 2007 For solo Percussion
Commissioned and premiered Nick Terry
"The woman who lived here
planted a garden of promises
that bloomed and quietly died.
Nobody lives here anymore.
Time and rain have overrun
the careful beds and trellises
which hope and ancient roses
used to climb. For all I know
flagstone pathways still meander
beneath the overgrowth, but
what you see today is mostly
moon dust. An anarchy
of invertebrate scavengers
absconded with the best
of her intentions
some time ago."
|"Cryptanalysis" 2009, Solo Percussion|
the art or process of deciphering coded messages without being told the key.
This is a very challenging recital piece, a sort of 'duet' for one player who runs through
|"Franz Boas in Brooklyn" for Solo 'Cello
Paddy Johnson, Glasgow 2007 (1st performance)
|Franz Boas (1858-1942), regarded as the "Father of Cultural Anthropology", had by 1895 unsettled prevalent assumptions of European “armchair anthropologists” insisting that conclusions be drawn from actual field studies rather that theological predispositions. Boas spent 41 years as the first Professor of Anthropology at Columbia University and Curator of Ethnology and Somatology at the American Museum of Natural History, presenting electrifying lectures and revelations based on his own field work among the Northwest Coastal America Indians, inspiring many students who would go on to create cultural conflagrations of their own. These included Margaret Mead who set out in 1925 to do her sensational research in Polynesia, and Nora Thurston Zeale who became key a figure in the Harlem Renaissance, along with poet and playwright Langston Hughes. When Hughes met Zeale she was enrolled at Columbia and working for Boas in Brooklyn and Harlem, stopping startled pedestrians to measure their skulls with a huge pair of calipers.
This ‘cello piece stems from my imagining Franz Boas and Nora Thurston Zeale rampaging around New York in the fervor of the 20’s, applying the principals of cultural relativism to their own society, doing the field work in their own backyard.
|Nora Thurston Zeale|
|"Etude" for Piano
This little study focuses on three applied piano techniques:
1. Various possibilities for contrast afforded by the sustain
and sostenuto pedals and physically held notes.
2. Rapid repetitions of a single note at a relatively quiet
3. Wide interval arpeggios including several held chords spanning a 10th.
Unlike most of my music, "Etude" is essentially
a-rhythmic, to be played very freely according to the
performer's interpretation. The proportional notation only
"implies” an approximate tempo and the timing and spaces
between relative passages is left to the player's preference.
Download the score and try it yourself.
|Music for Ensembles|
|"Up So Floating" 2005, for Woodwinds and Cello
Unapologetically tonal, this nostalgic music is inspired by the Saturday Evening Post covers of Norman Rockwell, and the E.E. Cummings poem "anyone lived in a pretty how town"
|"Three Chances, Part One" for four Percussionits 2005
This quartet was selected for performance on the Music Now concert of the Indiana State University Contemporary Music Festival, November 10, 2005, 3pm. The instruments are mostly conventional percussion with a few items from outside the "standard" percussion set including the Mazdafone and a garden weasel.
|anyone lived in a pretty how town
anyone lived in a pretty how town
(with up so floating many bells down)
spring summer autumn winter
he sang his didn't he danced his did
Women and men(both little and small)
cared for anyone not at all
they sowed their isn't they reaped their same
sun moon stars rain
children guessed(but only a few
and down they forgot as up they grew
autumn winter spring summer)
that noone loved him more by more
when by now and tree by leaf
she laughed his joy she cried his grief
bird by snow and stir by still
anyone's any was all to her
someones married their everyones
laughed their cryings and did their dance
(sleep wake hope and then)they
said their nevers they slept their dream
stars rain sun moon
(and only the snow can begin to explain
how children are apt to forget to remember
with up so floating many bells down)
one day anyone died i guess
(and noone stooped to kiss his face)
busy folk buried them side by side
little by little and was by was
all by all and deep by deep
and more by more they dream their sleep
noone and anyone earth by april
wish by spirit and if by yes.
Women and men(both dong and ding)
summer autumn winter spring
reaped their sowing and went their came
sun moon stars r
|"Three Chances, Part Two" for four Percussionits 2005
This part is a canon for standard mallet instruments
|"Three Chances, Part Three" for four Percussionits 2005
This focus here is on propriatary instruments; unsusual or one-of-kind things like the Coke Sign, Steel Sheet, and Spoke Tree
|"Sloop Dreams" Percussion Ensemble. Glasgow 2008
A response to this letter I got last summer:
"--yes, she's marla's old friend. the woman and her swedish boyfriend, torsten, lived in one of those beach towns between here and san diego. she grew up in seattle, in a family of sailors. she learned to sail when she was about nine years old. torsten grew up in a similar way in sweden and he was a carpenter. he was about ten years younger than her, but they bonded over their obsession with the ocean and he admired her knowledge about maritime history and boat restoration. they lived in a tiny cottage on a hill overlooking the ocean. she illustrated children's books and he did odd jobs and they put every penny they made into rehabbing a very old wooden sailboat. for years, they planned their
trip, one leg of it at a time. she figured they'd pause for short periods in various ports along the way where she'd paint portraits or seascapes in the cabin of the boat and sell them. when they had enough money for food and supplies, they'd move on. it was a very small boat and marla had nightmares about the her two friends, alone, out in the open sea. i know she wondered if, the day they set sail, it might be the last time she'd see them. anyway, they worked on the boat for years and plotted their routes and gathered radio equipment and supplies. and then the relationship went bad and they split up and the trip never happened. it made everyone who knew them incredibly sad for the end of the relationship and for the end of the dream. all their friends had come to feel like they were living the dream vicariously and when it disappeared, everybody suffered and got depressed. but they were relieved too, not having to worry about their friends' deaths at sea anymore. i wish i knew more about them, but that's about it.
|"Dont wait up..." Clarinet, Bassoon, Cello, Percussion
“Don’t wait up…” follows the meanderings of an old fellow who, after an evening pursuing the mysteries properties of several celebrated Islay malts, finds himself somewhat befuddled, retracing the steps back to a new flat in an unfamiliar neighborhood. He makes a few wrong turns, encounters several other people in a similar condition, hears and tells a few old jokes, possibly dances with a few strangers in the streethe can’t remember exactly.
Imaginine Buster Keaton mistakenly opening the wrong back alley gate and stumbling into Arnold Schoenberg’s swimming pool, late on a sweltering evening of July 17, 1950. Keaton, who often walked home after a long shoot, was attempting to take a shortcut through Stravinsky’s garden and knock a half-mile off his journey back to Brentwood. I like to think they were all neighbors in Los Angeles then, but that might be myth.
"Don’t wait up…” is one of several works written in support of my PhD composition project at the RSAMD in Glasgow which among other ideas incorporates the bodhrán a frame drum usually associated with traditional Celtic music--in chamber ensembles. Other works in this series include “Half Slip” for Chamber Orchestra (Cal Arts 2006) “The Clydean Coronaries” for Brass, Bagpipe, & Percussion (premiered May 1, at the RSAMD Plug festival.
I am deeply grateful to the following musicians who helped me realize this challenging piece.
Rebecca Humphreys: Clarinet
Steve Forman: Bodhrán and whiskey flask.
|"Tonight's Episode-- 'The Crunch'"|
Here’s the demo of a work for ICEBREAKER, the UK’s cutting-edge new music pioneers. The Crunch addresses Icebreaker’s interest in Peruvian panpipes and their facility realizing intricate rhythmic structures. Set in an 80’s TV-movie theme style, this erupted out of my past-life as a studio musician and jazz-fusion percussionist.
The Crunch had its 1st performance by Icebreaker on April 27 at the 2009 RSAMD Plug Festival, Glasgow.
|"The Clydean Coronaries"
For Brass, Percussion, and Great Highland Pipes. Glasgow -2008.
Scotland has a dilemma.
I am particularly grateful to pipers Simon McKerrell, who premiered the work, Barnaby Brown, and to Gordon McPherson, for their guidance and encouragement. --sf
Etic Impressions of Glasgow --2010
Commissioned by Alba Brass with funds provided by the Hope Scott Trust.
First performed on April 29 1010 by the extraordinary Glasgow-based Alba Brass, with a few courageous "traditional"
|Music for Strings and Chamber Orchestra|
|"The River in January"
Glasgow -2008, commissioned for the Scottish Philharmonic Ocrhestra.
A quiet narrative following the structure and tone of Glasgow poet Liz Lockhead’s “The Bargain,” from “Islands” 1978. In “The Bargain “ a couple spend an afternoon retracing steps they’ve taken together may times before. They are wandering the barras, Glasgow’s historic east-end street market, ostensibly seeking to acquire a few previously-owned items and second-hand artifacts, but there are very few surprises waiting for them in the bazaar these days. Really, they are reviewing the well-worn condition of their own continuing relationship. “Yes, today we’re in love aren’t we?” The poet wraps the question in a statement; a poignant plea for reassurance. In a series of casual episodes, the music follows the shoppers’ progress, pausing a occasionally in the stalls to ponder a nostalgic array of whimsical curiosities, or cueing up for samples of excruciatingly sugary deep-fried confections, all of it uncannily familiar and somehow all in need of repair and redemption. The conversation seems to surround the price and value of possibly-collectable objects, like the pin-stripe waist coat that needs a stitch or the maybe rosewood box -with the broken catch.
But they are bargaining for the thing they’ve brought along with them to the barrahs, and they’ll leave with it, wrapped up in the last lines of the poem:
There doesn’t seem to be a lot to say.
I wish we could either mend things
Or learn to throw them away.
|"Looking for Harris"
Glasgow -2008, another work commissioned by the Scottish Philharmonic Ocrhestra.
Dedicated to the memory of composer Harris Wulfson.
"I imagined a conversation I might have had, walking one last time with a friend who was considering leaving. We wandered about his old neighborhood, lingering in the empty park as the August afternoon sun settled into the birch branches, scattering the light in a thousand gold flecks through the venerable wisteria trellises established there long before we were born. Its summer bloom exhausted, the flowers had fallen, carpeting the pathway in fragrant purple confetti, and an emphatic, incomprehensible logic written in those twisted vines was exposed to us then. My friend studied structure for some time. I know he was decoding the moment; something was clearly revealed to him, which I knew I could never unravel or understand.
| Instead I concentrated on the perfect symmetry of the rosehips intertwined amongst the woody trails, softly praying we might possess such grace and dignity facing our own inevitable transitions,
So on we walked. I made my best effort to steer the conversation, to reconsider various options though I knew my points were far afield of his true concerns. I tried to invoke nostalgia; I failed to provoke an argument; finally I simply walked along quietly the rest of the way to the station, and left him to decide for himself the question of his destination. I think he was smiling at me as I tuned away, though that’s hard to say."
|Music for Symphony Orchestra|
Glasgow - 2009. For Full Orchestra, Border Pipes, and Bodhrans.
Commissioned by Donald Shaw for Celtic Connections Festival 2009 "Homecoming Suite"
First perfomance by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, at Glassgow Concert Hall, January 25 2009.
Inspired by Robert Burns’ "The Cotter's Saturday Night (1785)”
"... The toil-worn Cotter frae his labour goes, -
|Music for Wind Orchestra|
for Wind Orchestra and Percussion
Weather systems flow across the landscape in cycles, in patterns, predictable to some degree, though on occasion
"Inner Weather" is the final culminating major work composed for my PhD portfolio. It is an application of concepts
|All works are © Steve Forman, wholly owned and published by Steve Forman. BMI,
and available for performance. Contact Steve Forman for information about performance scores and parts.
Contact Steve Forman at Tambourine Percussion Studio: 471 N. Avenue 51, Highland Park CA. 90042 /E-mail: Steve Forman
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