Don’t Hesitate…


Kikuchi’s percussion/electronics setup for the Stratostrophic session

Don’t Hesitate to Change Your Mind was written for the Empty Cage Quartet in 2006. It was premiered and recorded in Los Angeles in July, 2006 and released in 2007 on the CD Stratostrophic (Clean Feed Records CF103) – that recording is embedded below. A three-part video from the premiere performance at Cafe Metropol in Los Angeles is posted on YouTube: part 1, part 2, part 3.

Originally the composition was designed to feature the acoustic quartet plus two overdubbed tracks of electronics: one to process the percussion and another for the horns. Once the music began in the studio, however, it became clear that drummer Paul Kikuchi’s immensely gorgeous sound palette of drums, gongs, metal bowls, and amplified hand-made percussion instruments with applied electronic effects (ring modulator, delay, etc) were enough to supply all of the “extra” sound that was needed to make the composition work. There are at least two channels (panned L-R) of Paul’s electronics in the final mix (in addition to his acoustic percussion); in some parts a third channel of electronics (panned center) was added to create a more dense sonic field.

The parts for the acoustic instruments are based on several permutations of phrases inspired (rather indirectly) by Woody Guthrie songs. Periodic thematic sections for the full ensemble give way to several instances of structured improvisation for different instrumental configurations within the quartet.

Download PDF: Don’t Hesitate to Change Your Mind (score + composition notes)

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