Four Views of the Butterfly Effect

Percussion Quartet ● Winter 2019 ● 23:00

Four Views of the Butterfly Effect


20-25 minutes Chamber Music Electronic Intermediate Live Electronics Percussion Quartet 


Philosophically, Four Views of the Butterfly Effect is about cause, effect, choices, and their ramifications. The individual percussion parts are fairly traditional in notation, but the structure and logistics of the piece leave much up to the performers.

Structurally, Four Views of the Butterfly Effect is one five-minute work (or View) for percussion quartet and electronics. The View is played four times, either in succession or as interludes between other pieces. Any performer can play any part, so after each View, parts are switched--Performer A may play part I on the first View, part II on the second View, and so on. Performers may choose parts in advance or during the performance.

Each View is recorded and played back during subsequent Views. View 1 is heard live. During the performance of View 2, the recording of View 1 is played, and so on. Due to some timing adjustments, this playback isn't in sync--gestures and motives played live are heard first in the recording, confusing our sense of cause or effect. Additionally, percussionists are given guidelines instead of an instrument list, leaving many sonic choices up to them. The resulting sonic experience is unique and ephemeral--it cannot be recreated.



Commissioned by the MinusOne Quartet


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NoteForge (ASCAP)

Kyle Vanderburg