© 2019 Erik Griswold.

Give us this day (2014)

Percussion quartet.  21:00. 

Give us this day (GUTD) combines orchestral percussion, found objects, and toy instruments in an exploration of deep grooves, driving rhythms and meditative sound textures.  There is an ebb and flow throughout the five movements: interlocking patterns and syncopations in “Rise up” give way to slow pulsing cycles in “Breathe;” hypnotic rhythms and biting metallic tones in “Cold steel” yield to the plaintive mood of “Alone;” while “Punch the sky” combines drums, tamborines, cymbals and toy melodicas in an exuberantly funky romp.

 

The musical ideas for GUTD came together quickly.  I was focused on creating a sense of immediacy, of being “inside” in each sound texture, and also creating a seamless flow from one idea to the next.  As I was composing, the phrase “give us this day” popped into my head.  I was intrigued at the way in which - taking the phrase out of context – it seemed to suggest not only a prayer, but a call to action.

GUTD was co-commissioned by Early Warning System and Los Angeles Percussion Quartet and premiered 9 July 2014 at Brisbane Powerhouse.  

It was released by Sono Luminus.

"The piece begins stately and processional (more Java than Bali) then moves through sections of quite different sonorities as is common with Griswold’s work. Not all percussive, at one stage Griswold’s much loved melodicas are introduced along with bowed cymbals to develop a beautiful tonespace of slowly overlapping chords. With the percussion the playing is sometimes soft and gentle, allowing the sound of touching skins with hand or beater to dominate the resonant boom of the drum, giving a percussion that is as much about touching and manipulating a surface as it is about dividing time into predictable chunks. Give us this day is very much a work that refines earlier concerns and demonstrates the continuing maturation of Griswold’s distinctive voice." - Greg Hooper, Realtime Arts Magazine