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Kevin Volans

Publisher: Chester Music

Akrodha (1998)
commissioned by the Swedish Concert Institute
Work Notes
Dedicated to Jonny Axelsson
Chester Music Ltd
Solo Works (excluding keyboard)
Year Composed
27 Minutes

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Programme Note
Kevin Volans Akrodha (1998)
As is often the case with percussion music, this piece was written blind, so to speak: the first draft is little more than a proposal to the percussionist who lets the composer know what is possible and what isn’t. Despite working with percussion for a number of years I have always underestimated both the percussionists’ abilities and the demands I make on them. What may appear as a moderate piece on the keyboard is amplified a hundredfold in difficulty and effect when translated, say, on to drums.

I wrote Akrodha (meaning ‘freedom from anger’ for Jonny in 1998. When I arrived to rehearse with him, I rested in the adjoining room while he warmed up. Suddenly I heard what sounded like a whole tribe of drummers going wild next door. It turned out I had written, to my embarrassment, an unspeakably difficult piece, and Jonny, without a murmur, had followed my demands to the letter.

The piece is in two movements, one with metal instruments and one with drums, and is dedicated to Jonny.

Kevin Volans

Score sample

  • Soloist(s)
    Jonny Axelsson
    j a p r :
[The] recital was a showcase of Volans' imagination, his ability to draw an almost infinite array of patterns and effects from a relatively limited range of unpitched instruments. The 1985 She Who Sleeps with a Small Blanket is already a bit of a classic. The brief and violent Asanga (1997), however, and the expansive and wonderfully intricate Akrodha (1998) are not so well known, but clearly should be.
Andrew Clements, The Guardian,24/11/2004
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