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Joseph Pereira’s Magnificent Desolation

Watch & Listen

Last year, during the 50th anniversary of man’s first walk on the moon, the Principal Timpanist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Joseph Pereira heard Buzz Aldrin’s evocative description of being on the moon’s surface as witnessing “magnificent desolation.”

Those words inspired Pereira to compose a solo work for bass drum, which he uses primarily as a resonator for other instruments, including a scrub brush, a cowbell, and a Chinese cymbal. He further enhances these atypical sounds by recording, manipulating, and blending them with live performance. Pereira recommends listening on headphones for a complete 3-D effect. Beginning in silence and then using hands alone, Pereira performs his aptly titled piece, slowly ushering us into an alien world of unearthly sounds – which is exactly the point.