Mat Campbell Music

Composer. Arranger. Conductor. Percussionist. Educator.

Time Laps(e)


In the fall semester of 2018, Emma Roper asked me to write a piece for snare drum and electronics for her senior recital that would take place in 2020. Because Emma is a talented percussionist with a superb work ethic, I agreed to the commission terms. I hadn’t written anything until August 22, 2019 when the idea of how I could get “time laps” from “time lapse”. The piece is split into four sections. Each section uses different subdivisions of the half note to rhythmically expand the pacing of the piece while increasing the complexity of the rhythms on which these subdivisions are based on. Section one uses eighth note triplets to the half note, section two uses eighth note quintuplets, section three uses eighth notes, and section four uses quarter note triplets to make the beginning feel more expansive. I considered how the snare drum part could phase with the track without completely disorienting the performer. In the true inspiration of Dr. Joe W. Moore’s teachings, I created an entire section that based the ratio of 10 to 8. (Sorry, Emma. In fact, she claimed that I “John Cage-d” her, potentially because both of us played his Third Construction in the previous semester.)

I found a Creative Commons time lapse video on YouTube and then created the accompanying track on Logic Pro X. The snare drum part was written after the Logic project was finished, but I had already been considering the soloist’s role in the short four minute piece. The dual use of a title is always captivating to me, so I couldn’t help but write the whole piece in four days.

I intend on using the theme of “Time Laps(e)” for future works.

Program Notes:

The concept of phasing is like a melody or rhythm running laps around itself. When it finally makes a return to unison, there is a “lap” as if the first place competitor caught up to the last place, and so on.

By tying this into the theme of a time lapse, my goal was to fit as many notes into four minutes of time while still being tasteful. All of these musical ideas should be derivative of one musical idea. The piece is split into four sections. Each section uses different subdivisions of the half note to rhythmically expand the pacing of the piece while increasing the complexity of the rhythms on which these subdivisions are based on. Section one uses eighth note triplets to the half note, section two uses eighth note quintuplets, section three uses eighth notes, and section four uses quarter note triplets to make returning material from the beginning feel more expansive. The idea of employing fixed media would also help the audience and performer experience the effect of time lapse videos while still experiencing a “lap” to ultimately give the impression that time is standing still yet inevitably marching forward.