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Julia Wolfe

Publisher: G. Schirmer

Dark Full Ride (2002)
Red Poppy
Small Ensemble (2-6 players)
Sub Category
Percussion Ensemble
Year Composed
18 Minutes
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Programme Note
Julia Wolfe Dark Full Ride (2002)
When Talujon Percussion Quartet asked me to write a piece for 4 percussionists I immediately thought of the drums. I am a long time fan of drummers and their ability to play simultaneously with both hands and feet, so I thought why not four of them? I went to David Cossin’s studio to try ideas out. When we got to the hi-hat I became mezmorized. It’s an amazing instrument – 2 cymbals crashing together by means of a foot pedal and struck from above. It produces an enormous range of shimmering colors. Just opening and closing the cymbals allow for symphonic possibilities. You can play the cymbals on the edge, play on the bell (top), roll, attack, be delicate, and my favorite - make the hi-hat roar. The first 7 minutes of the piece are entirely on hi-hats. Then I add in cymbals. That’s where the title of the piece comes from – it was printed on the back of one of the ride cymbals. From there the piece spreads out to the drums, eventually leading to a cacophony of conflicting pounding speeds on the whole drum set. Towards of the end of Dark Full Ride the four players are playing beats at different tempos while speeding up and slowing down relative to each other.

— Julia Wolfe

Sample Pages

The most stimulating piece, hands down, was Wolfe’s merrily grooving vehicle for four trap drum sets, “Dark Full Ride.” Veterans of rock and jazz concerts know that the self-indulgent drum solo is usually the time to hit the beer lines, but Wolfe avoids all hints of boredom by exploiting countless sonic possibilities from the hi-hat cymbal set and keeping the pulse going relentlessly, thrillingly.
Richard S. Ginell, Los Angeles Times,01/01/0001
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