“Beyond the ever-shifting rhythmic crosscurrents that give the music its vigor and hypnotic intensity, 'Timber' also plays on tones unique to each plank. Amplified in performance, overtones hover and fuse, conjuring eerie moans and radiant coronas.”
— New York Times
When Michael Gordon's Timberpremiered in 2011, it changed the game for percussion composition. Timber is scored for six wooden 2x4 planks. Called simantras, they aren't your typical percussion instruments. When first working with the planks Gordon discovered that "these slabs of wood, which looked like standard building materials from a lumberyard to me, had a gorgeous sound. It was distinct enough so that the clarity of the percussive hits could be heard, and was also extremely resonant, producing a complex field of overtones."
The sounds Timber created caused audiences to ask the composer about the electronic instruments used in the piece. There were none.
Nevertheless, the question of electronics got Gordon thinking. In 2012 he decided to invite electronic music artists to remix Timber.
On October 28th Cantaloupe Music releases Timber Remixed, a 2-CD package of remixes of Mantra Percussion's recording of Timber from an A-list of producers and DJs and a live recording performed by Mantra Percussion at the 2014 Bang on a Can Marathon. Featuring contributions from a diverse range of musicians from across the electronic music spectrum, Timber Remixed gives Gordon's deep exploration into the extreme possibilities of rhythm the full electronic treatment.
Featuring remixes by Squarepusher, Oneohtrix Point Never, Tim Hecker, Hauschka, Jóhann Jóhannsson, and more, these tracks highlight the connections between the new wave of compositions for percussionists and the fascinatingly warped rhythms explored by producers of all stripes in the underground electronic music world. Timber Remixed is also released in a limited edition, individually numbered 12" vinyl LP that contains six key remixes.
Timber was co-commissioned by Club Guy and Roni, Slagwerk Den Haag and Mantra Percussion, with support from the Nief Norf project. Timber had its world premiere in June 2011 at Korzo Theatre in Den Haag, The Netherlands, with Slagwerk Den Haag and its US premiere with Mantra Percussion in October 2012 at BGSU New Music Festival.
Julia Wolfe has been named a 2016 MacArthur Fellow. The MacArthur Fellows Program awards unrestricted fellowships to “talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction.”