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This piece was sketched between January and March 2008, with the final writing and orchestration being done over the Easter.
As a piece Ratchet takes West African drumming (which I have been studying) as its point of departure - not only does it use two Djembes either side of the main ensemble, but also uses the idea of call and response between solo and groups of instruments, and organises the music into discrete blocks of material. This said, the manner in which the instruments and material are handled is entirely of my own design, with no attempt at trying to emulate African drumming in the piece.
All of the music is derived from the first melodic phrase that is heard in the viola. There is a central improvisatory section for the Djembes - this is left unwritten, as I want the drummers to have their own input into how the material is developed.
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