Reality is My Juggernaut by Jeffrey Barudin

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Reality is My Juggernaut by Jeffrey Barudin

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for Percussion Quartet




The title “Reality is My Juggernaut” is a direct quote from a quarterly report sent by our university’s past president. It stopped me in my tracks, not only because it was a combination of words that I never expected to see, but it also started me thinking about what makes up our realities. They can be steady and persistent, they can be flighty and unsubstantial, and they’re constantly being reinforced, mutated, or broken down. They also can be “juggernauts”, immovable forces resistant to change. But are they always so permanent? This piece explores reality, its evolution, and its hopeful return to regularity.

I wanted to keep the instrumentation sparse, so the piece calls for two 5-octave marimbas, 4 tom-toms, and a bass drum. For Percussion 1, double-headed toms are preferred. The Percussion 2 part serves different functions, sometimes as a “fifth” tom-tom and sometimes in a more traditional bass drum role. Because of this, the bass drum player may decide to use both a concert bass drum and a kick drum turned on its side. Dampening with a towel or muffle and beaters are left open to interpretation, but the intricate rhythms should always be discernable.

During performance, the effort should be made to have as little movement as possible during the fermatas. Suggested lengths of time are given, but it’s most important that the ratio of time between concurrent fermatas is apparent (particularly at the close of the piece).

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