Jackhammer Lullaby (2008)

  • Instrumentation: flt, clar, pno, perc, vln, vc
  • Duration: 7’00
  • Performers: Continuum Ensemble, conductor: Gregory Oh
  • Commissioned by the Continuum Ensemble

Program Notes

Jackhammer Lullaby is an arrangement of Community-Normed, which was commissioned by the Continuum Ensemble in Toronto in 2008. I’ve become increasingly interested in presenting pieces in multiple versions and combinations. Jackhammer Lullaby, with a few changes, is also the middle movement of Community-Normed. I’ve also written a third version, for a chamber music conference in Vermont in July 2009, with different instrumentation and adapted for amateur performers.

Why multiple versions? Because music today is multiple. Everyone is exposed to music from multiple cultures all the time, from multiple time periods, and in multiple versions. DJs remix pop songs, which are available in numerous versions, and do mash-ups that intertwine multiple tracks in the space of a few seconds. I think this is a good way to deal with the fact that we are, for the first time in history, drowning in more music than anyone knows what to do with. For this reason, creating multiple versions is an important project of mine.

Musically, Jackhammer Lullaby presents a humorous musical setting of trying to fall asleep with construction going on outside the window.