Iron Velvet

for percussion sextet (2017, 11')

first performance: by Sven Hoscheit, Richard Jansen, Ramon Lormans, Herman Rieken, Agostinho Sequeira and Rachel Zhang at the Pustjens Focus Day, Bernard Haitinkzaal, Conservatorium van Amsterdam, 28 January 2017

Iron Velvet was written in memory of the prominent Dutch percussionist and expert snare drum player Jan Pustjens, who passed away on 7 January 2011.

In Iron Velvet the snare drum has a leading role. This instrument may be considered the heart of the family of percussion instruments. With its bright and penetrating sound it will always be heard, whatever the musical context. It certainly has the power to lead an ensemble, but at the same time it has the dignity to accompany, colour and provide a rhythmic backbone to a piece of music. In this work, the snare drum’s iron impact as well as its velvet accompanying abilities are put into action. Grouped around the snare drum are some of its companions from the symphony orchestra such as bass drum, cymbal, tamtam and timpani, as well as a tight-knit ensemble of mallet instruments. The six players perform a music which ranges from outgoing and unflinching to gentle and introspective – two aspects of percussion, two sides of a personality.

Iron Velvet was commissioned and kindly supported by the Jan Pustjens Foundation, which continues Jan Pustjens’ legacy by supporting talented percussionists.

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