12:29 MST (2012) – multiple percussion quintet with film accompaniment - 8:00
Complete instrumentation [5 performers]: percussion 1 (bass drum, snare drum, bongos, shaker, windchimes, crash cymbal, splash cymbal); percussion 2 (bass drum, snare drum, bongos, shaker, slapstick, crash cymbal, splash cymbal); percussion 3 (bass drum, snare drum, bongos, windchimes, crash cymbal, splash cymbal); percussion 4 (bass drum, snare drum, bongos, shaker, slapstick, crash cymbal, splash cymbal); percussion 5 (bass drum, low tom, snare drum, shaker, crash cymbal, splash cymbal)
This piece is inspired by a water fountain at Beaver Creek Village in Beaver Creek, Colorado. I filmed and recorded the fountain on May 30, 2012, at 12:29 pm Mountain Standard Time, which is where this piece earns its name. The length of one cycle of the fountain is 15 minutes long, so this piece is cut down and arranged for a chamber percussion ensemble.
The fountain itself was designed by Guy Marsh and Sundance Water Design. In a phone interview with him on June 25, 2012, Marsh stated that this fountain was designed to operate year-round in its environment. Because of this, the design process took one month and the manufacturing 90 days. It is also programmed for “all ages,” meaning that during the day, the fountain heights are lower so children can run and play through it, but in the evening the fountain shoots to heights of 15 feet and is illuminated to make a statement for the adults. Marsh designed this fountain cycle by individually running each fountain and recording it, then overdubbing them with each other to create different effects. In a sense, Marsh and Sundance Water Design composed this fountain like a piece of music, and I am simply bringing it back to its original state. Because my recording of this piece occurred during the “children’s cycle,” this piece is meant to be performed in and amongst the audience, as if the audience were playing in the fountain themselves. This piece is also interesting because in reality, there is no exact starting and/or stopping point that exists during the fountain cycle; I simply designated a starting and stopping point for the purpose of writing this piece. With that being said, this piece could begin anywhere within it, and it would still, theoretically, be the same fountain. This piece is also subject to variations because the fountain itself, being a man-made work of art, has variances within each cycle due to variables that we cannot control. So, this fountain will be different from cycle to cycle, and this piece could be as well. The film that goes along with this piece, produced by Melissa Myser, includes footage from my 12:29 recording of the fountain.
A big thank you goes out to Brian Wach for his encouragement and assistance with writing this piece. Thank you to Melissa Myser for designing the film to accompany my composition, and for your support throughout the years as my mentor and friend. Also thank you to Greg Beyer for assisting with editing. Thank you to my Uncle Dave for giving me the idea for this piece, and of course, thank you to my Mom, Dad, and family for their undying support and encouragement through all of my efforts.
Notes on 12:29 MST Film
12.29 MST accompanying film puts into visual form the composition by Alexis Lamb. Working from video of the fountain in Beaver Creek, Colorado, the third dimension of light, color and movement act and react to the rhythms of the water and the performers. – Melissa Myser
(Melissa Myser earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in Film and Studio Arts from the University of Colorado and Master of Fine Arts Degree at University of Illinois at Chicago.)
Watch the video here.