Pas de Trois

Notes on the piece:

Pas de Trois is a musical representation of the conflicting relationships that one character, the percussionist, has with the two others, the bass trombone and flute. Each of the other two characters hold an element of beauty in the mind of the percussionist, referenced respectively by both harmonic and rhythmic symmetry. The melodic material of the two opposing characters is also complementary in its origins, thus representing two parts of the percussionist’s idealistic whole. Formally influenced by sonata principle, each character interacts with the percussionist in a different manner, creating elements of conflict on the large-scale structural level. These interactions bring out different sides of the single percussionist, represented by the use of vibraphone versus tom-toms. The development area of the piece finds the percussionist dealing with the mental balance of both parties, as the players use actual movement through the stage area to represent fluctuating considerations in the foreground of the percussionist’s thoughts. In the section of “recapitulation”, each player’s thematic material is presented together. I leave it to the players to interpret whether this is a positive or negative conglomeration of characters, or perhaps one that is altogether imaginary.

Pas de Trois was composed as part of a 2010 collaboration between the Boston Composers' Coalition and the Fourth Wall.

© Justin Casinghino 2013