Tōtoltepōhua (2016) 11 ‘
première: Akom Percussion Duo
24 February 2016, Southern Utah University – Cedar City (USA)
commissioned by: Akom Percussion Duo
A composition in which repeating patterns of straightforward rhythm lead to fleeing grooves.
Tōtoltepōhua is the Nahuatl word for “to count eggs”. Nahuatl is a polysynthetic language, spoken by original inhabitants of Mexico, in which complex words are formed by the combination of several simple words.
The composition Tōtoltepōhua starts with two sets of base pulses for each percussionist. By itself these simple rhythms are straightforward like metronome beats, but combined they reveal a more complex connection: Incidentally they lead to moments that can be perceived as grooves. Most of these groovy moments flee instantly, only one standard Latin rhythm persists. Driven by sudden tempo shifts, the rhythmic feel of the music changes rapidly and sometimes stagnates in repeating patterns.