The Two-As-One Sensation

The inspiration for this piece came from a book about massage, describing the different sensitivities to touch on various parts of the body. This sensitivity is measured by placing two pins at varied distances from each other, and testing whether the subject feels both pins, or only one. Very sensitive areas of the body will feel two pins at very close distances, while less sensitive areas will combine the two into one sensation (try it, itís cool).

Reading this phrase sent my mind off into tangents of other experiences that could be described by the same term, and settled on the interactions of two people in a close relationship, and the shifting dominances between the two people. This is the main focus of the piece.

The piece begins with both parts playing unison or complementary lines--blending together, finishing each otherís sentences, at times blending so much that the two parts seem to be one. As the second movement progresses, player one becomes the dominant voice, as player two shifts behind first by a 16th note, then by an 8th. They are actually "saying" the same thing, but have shifted out of phase with each other, leading to the impression of chaos. By the end of the movement, they have both made plays to establish dominance, with neither coming out ahead.

Lastly is a recapitulation of the first movement, with both players finding their niche, complementing each otherís parts. Yet there is more awareness for the listener of the individuality of the two parts as separate individuals.

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