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“The Hum” is a strange noise – a persistent, low-frequency hum– that has been reported in various locations around the world. Only heard by a select group of the population, the phenomenon has fueled many unresolved theories about its origins, ranging from the scientific to occult. My piece Hum Phenomenon creates a dialogue between this mysterious, perhaps extra-terrestrial noise and the much more mundane act of humming to oneself. Therefore, the music has a character-binary, containing sounds that are extroverted and buzzing with energy as well as gestures that are inward, small, and intimate.
At the beginning, the resonance of the piano is activated by scraping the coils of the lowest strings. This sonic environment envelops the first half of the work, as the other instruments extend and augment the shimmering vibrations. Eventually, the scraping gesture is distilled into an introspective solo at the piano, as if the mysterious hum and its angst is revealed to be of human origins after all. A simple, almost tuneful music closes the work, from which the clarinet extracts a final hum.