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I Beat with the World Outside

“I Beat with the World Outside” 2017 for unpitched percussion and track, written for and performed by Claire Edwardes, commissioned by the National Women in Composition Development Program



Program Note

Written in conjunction with the National Women in Composition Development Program, this piece undergoes a journey of interacting with and gradually coming away from, a pop-style electroacoustic accompaniment. It serves two purposes;

1. The composer is highly involved both by choice and by context, in the Popular music scene. There is a general oversight of the role of the percussionist in Popular music, however her research shows the absolute paramount nature of the rhythm to charging audience’s reactions with a piece: sensoromitor synchronisation is the phenomenon behind our tapping, beating culture. Our interaction with a prominent rhythm is when our natural bodily rhythms lock into a common periodicity and oscillate as one with the external rhythm, causing our pulse to move completely at mercy to it. This piece aims to project the percussionist to begin with as we ordinarily encounter her within a Pop context, and gradually bring her to the forefront where the surrounds drop away and we are left with the most important part of our every day, toe tapping, fist pumping, head nodding music: the rhythm.
2. Subtitled “Moody Melodies”, the electronic track is built on a number of live samples recorded by the composer of her everyday working world, from the mundane to the interesting. Some of which she literally hears around her, and some of which she hears in her own thoughts— however working in isolation makes the two somewhat indiscernible. The title reflects the attitudes and temperaments of the composer in the chaotic, quiet of her existence in the life of a working artist in the 21st Century. The composer battles with the structure-less, high functioning anxiousness that ensues as a product of making emotionally charged art for a living. This piece portrays that phenomenon, and reflects on an abstract from Sarah Schuster in her article The Mighty; “It’s trying to let the energy inspire you… To remember the peace you found in that second of silence, until the electricity starts again, and you’re forced to move.”


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