I suspect that the composition of ECHO ZONE I-III would never have taken place had it not been for Safri Duo. I had been thinking about the spatial concept of a high-speed stereophonic exchange of drum beats (interlocking) for several years, but had been unsuccessful in presenting the idea to international percussion ensembles.
When Safri Duo asked me to compose for them, I wrote a detailed version of the beginning of the piece. When we met after a week´s rehearsel, I had the wonderful experience of hearing my idea realised for the first time. The result is what has now become REPERCUSSION, the 2nd ECHO ZONE, where drum beats bounce between two players as in a surrealistic tennis match, complemented by melodies on vibraphone and marimba.
Although RESONANCE (the first ZONE) is more concerned with pitch and harmonic movement, it is also focuses on the phenomenon of repercussion. As the title indicates, however, repercussion is used in the sense of several echoing, polyrhythmic layers which simultaneously create a grotto-like accumulation of harmonic sounds.
In the final ECHO ZONE, REMINDER, those ´resonances´are restarted in a short, whirling accelaration towards a violent climax.
ECHO ZONE I-III is dedicated to Safri Duo, who premiered the piece in Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen, August 1993.
Per Nørgård (1993)