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Nick Deyoe on A New Anxiety

a new anxiety for 20 players – Nicholas DEYOE

Loud. Fast. Aggressive. When Chris Rountree invited me to compose a piece for wild Up, he asked for something loud, fast, aggressive, and inspired by Slayer or Meshuggah. With styles existing at opposite ends of a particular spectrum, I took this as an opportunity to engage with forms of acoustic intensity and brutality rather than literally transcribing Slayer or Meshuggah riffs. The intensity I experience from metal results from the combination of timbre, volume, and production techniques on top of the actual riffs. It was difficult to imagine how I would overcome the difference in sound between a metal band and an acoustic ensemble to create something of appropriate aggression. I was worried that, by not achieving my desired intensity, this piece could result in an unsatisfying appropriation of something that I love. Attempting to avoid this, I looked to bands whose styles/languages are more congruous with my own for structural and material inspiration.

A significant focus of mine over the past several years has been an exploration of the coexistence of contrasting musical elements. Cephalic Carnage, with their ability to enthusiastically and convincingly combine starkly contrasting styles/materials, offered structural inspiration. Decapitated provided ideas for how to handle intensity, speed, texture, density, and harmonic insistence.   Strategies toward the unification of melody and brutality were guided by Death. Chuck Schuldiner, the creative force behind Death, had an incredible ability blend melodic, harmonically sensuous materials with raw death metal. Chuck Schuldiner’s musical output has always been inspirational to me, though this piece is my first attempt at similar transformations to Death.

Density and speed are used to achieve a raw, aggressive, and physically engaged sound. Often, passages are played at speeds that flirt with the boundaries of physical possibility. Streams of sixteenth notes unfold so quickly, and with so many players that any chance for clarity is destroyed, hopefully simulating the raw energy I experience from metal. The combination of physically raw acoustic sounds with an amplified bassoon creates a less predictable, difficult to control, and unyielding ensemble. The sounds of the amplified bassoon are inspired by Archie Carey’s ability to create rich sound worlds while manipulating and looping feedback, distortion, and delay lines. He provides the treacherous terrain that the ensemble must contend with, traveling from the viscerally charged beginning to the melodically longing end.

The melodic fragments driving the end of the piece are quotations from Death, and their inclusion is my tribute Chuck Schuldiner. On December 13th, 2001 he died of complications relating to Brain Cancer, and his 45th birthday would have been the day after the premiere of this piece. His music is a source of inspiration to me, and this piece is dedicated to him.



– Nicholas Deyoe (www.nicholasdeyoe.com)


The following songs are awesome:


Death Crystal Mountain

Cephalic Carnage Pseudo

Decapitated Post(?) Organic

Meshuggah Bleed

Slayer Dead Skin Mask

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