Sturm und Drang

for percussion ensemble

recorded on the album Everything Entangled

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score sample

“Sturm und drang” is German for “storm and stress”. It is the name for the late 18th century literary movement that included the early works of Goethe and Schiller. In music, it is most associated with Haydn, but also Mozart and Gluck.

Sturm und drang begins with a very long, slow introduction that combines moody, timbre-based effects with gigantic builds. It is a weird landscape of sound without pulse or direction.

This gives way to a frantic toccata that focuses obsessively on a single, mechanistic line. Although this line throughout is in the keyboard instruments, I treat it like an organist with a giant percussion organ. In particular, I use organ registration techniques to create unexpected color effects by combining instruments in ways that alter the composite spectrum by reinforcing certain overtones. In addition, I use a technique I derived from organ fingering to create the illusion of legato between multiple instruments.