by Nathan Daughtrey
Instrumentation: Glockenspiel, Vibraphone, Chimes, Xylophone, Shared Vibraphone, Marimba 1 (4.3-octave), Marimba 2 (4.3-octave), Marimba 3 (5-octave), Timpani (4 drums), Claves, Percussion 1 [Snare Drum, 2 Triangles, Small Suspended Cymbal], Percussion 2 [Snare Drum, Finger Cymbals, Bongos, Congas (2), Medium Suspended Cymbal], Percussion 3 [Bell Tree, Large Suspended Cymbal, Ocean Drum, Wind Chimes, 2 Woodblocks], Percussion 4 [4 Concert Toms, China Cymbal, Hi-Hat], Percussion 5 [Concert Bass Drum, Multi-Bass Drum, Tam-Tam]
Chasing Infinity is an exciting & colorful 12-minute work for 13 percussionists that was inspired by a quote from Gustav Flaubert: “Everything measurable passes, everything that can be counted has an end. Only three things are infinite: the sky in its stars, the sea in its drops of water, and the heart in its tears.”
These “three things” help organize the piece into three large contrasting sections. The first section, the sky in its stars, is less about melody and more about painting a sonic impression of the sparkling, infinite energy of the night sky. While there is an overarching melody that eventually emerges, the changing textures are most important. The second section, the sea in its drops of water, is much calmer and expands on the melodic motives that were introduced in the first section. It culminates in a glorious climax before sinking back into the calm of the sea. The third and final section, the heart in its tears, is closely related to the first section, but it is tonally much brighter and resolute.