• Kevin Volans
  • Leaping Dance (1984)

  • Chester Music Ltd (World)
  • 1.1+ca.2+2bthn.22000
  • 2pf
  • 8 min

Programme Note

Leaping Dance was composed in 1984. The original version was for two pianos, which I subsequently arranged in this version for Netherlands Wind Ensemble. I was interested in the way interlocking techniques in African music are used to enable players to reach extraordinarily high speed – complicated melodic lines are performed at well over ten notes a second. I also loved the irregular patterning to be found not only in the music, but also in the textiles of the African continent. The piece is in roughly four sections – the first two of which explore various interlocking techniques. Both the melody and the accompanying chords are interlocked at different paces. The patterns are repeated irregularly, sometimes added to, sometimes shortened, and are under a shower of inserted notes. The title has no particular significance, although I did include some ‘leaps’ in the penultimate section. The coda is based on a traditional Xhosa tune.

Kevin Volans

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Leaping Dance

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