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.