Duration c. 8’ 30” Commissioned and premiered by Slagwerkgroep Den Haag, May 9, 1993, De Waag, Lieden
(Performers: Mantra Percussion)
Recording available on “Same Rivers Different” by Michael Fiday, Innova Recordings (https://www.innova.mu/albums/michael-fiday/same-rivers-different)
Hands On! was originally composed in 1993 for the Dutch percussion ensemble Slagwerkgroep Den Haag, who premiered it in a series of “stokkenthuis” concerts in which the players were forbidden to use drum sticks. All 4 players play the same instruments: congas, bongos, tambourine, hi-hat cymbal – all instruments usually played with either hands or feet. In addition, two of the players share a vibraphone, which is also played by the hands instead of with the customary mallets. The vibraphone functions entirely as a ‘resonance’ instrument, it’s occasional entrances always masked by sharper, louder playing on other instruments – like momentary shades of blue peeking out behind a backdrop of darker, more aggressive lines. As the work unfolds the vibraphone also reveals a thin strand of a chord progression – all in the context of what is basically a rhythm-based music. Certain aspects of Hands On! were inspired by surface features of both Indian and West African drumming. The work was composed under the auspices of a Fulbright grant, and is dedicated to Louis Andriessen.
“…high octane stuff…” – Philadelphia Inquirer