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In the opening bars of Aberration the three percussionists, governed, as one would expect, by a common tempo,
present a simple rhythmic pattern.
Soon though, the tempos of each of the three musicians begin to fluctuate slowly and independently of
one another---the performers begin to wander from the path of the single tempo established at the beginning
of the composition. At times the three performers violently assert their individual tempos by playing
simple rhythmic figures reminiscent of the material in the opening of the work albeit in their own
independent tempos, while at other times they attempt to reconstruct the music from the beginning of the work
by playing carefully chosen rhythms that, when combined, form a composite semblance of that original material.
The tempo of the material being reconstructed
then speeds up slightly before beginning a long
slow deceleration. As we approach the trough, we hear all four tempos at once---each of the performers
playing in their own tempo and also each playing elements of the slowly decelerating fourth.
Aberration makes use of new software developed by John MacCallum
at the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies (CNMAT).
This software builds on previous work by Matthew Wright and has been used extensively in works by Edmund
Campion including ADKOM and Auditory Fiction.
Aberration was commissioned by and written for the Rootstock Percussion Trio (Chris Froh,
Dan Kennedy, and Loren Mach) and is dedicated to Edmund Campion.