for steel pan, harp, percussion  

Pans, or steel drums, are tuned percussion instruments fashioned out of oil drums. Colgrass explains his reasons for choosing this unusual instrumentation: “Although this instrument has been used in many genres since the 1950s, I had always thought of steel pans as colourful instruments that accompanied dancing on beaches in the Caribbean. Then I heard pan virtuoso Liam Teague, and my impression immediately changed. Here was a world-class soloist who played Bach on pans with the artistry of a classical musician. When Lawrence Cherney asked me to write a piece for the 2008 Cool Drummings series, I was immediately intrigued.” In considering what other group of instruments would best complement the pan’s idiosyncratic timbre, Colgrass decided to emphasize its warmth and its sustain with harp, marimba, vibraphone, and other small percussion instruments. The result is an immense palette of musical colours not found in more conventional ensembles.

Performed by:
Liam Teague, steel pan
Sanya Eng, harp
Ryan Scott, percussion

Commissioned by Soundstreams with generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts.