Laws of Entropy (2010)


Instrumentation: Percussion
Duration: 7:30
Availability: PDF Download.

Commissioned by Cory Hills



Entropy is a measure of the disorganization in a given “system”. The second law of thermodynamics states that entropy will never decrease, but rather will increase until a uniform state of disorganization is reached. It seems to me that such a process will ultimately result in a stasis whose chaos is perfectly organized.

In Laws of Entropy, I use various processes to transform the opening drum groove into a large-scale polyrhythmic ostinato that ultimately decays completely. The rules governing those changes include the systematic deletion of notes from the original pattern, the addition of subdivisions to that pattern, the intrusion of repeated pulses that conflict with the main meter, and the insertion of silence.

Laws of Entropy was written in 2010 for Cory Hills. He commissioned the work after my Napoleon Complex was awarded first prize in his 2009 Con/un/drum Solo Percussion Composition Competition.

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