Michael Gordon’s work TIMBER is an evening-length tour de force scored for six amplified wooden 2 x 4s, cut to different sizes, giving each one a distinct pitch. The custom instrumentation permits Gordon to create the impression that sound is traveling around and through the room by subtly shifting the accent of sound from one player to another. The result is a mediation on sound and rhythm, bringing the physicality, endurance, and technique of percussion performance to a unique new level.
The nief-norf Project is a contemporary music ensemble devoted to performing, studying, and commissioning imaginative and challenging musical works. Utilizing a flexible roster of musicians, the nief-norf Project performs works from both the historical and emerging avant-garde, and shares their commitment to this music through creative programming concepts, educational initiatives, and interdisciplinary collaboration.
Formed in 2005, the ensemble was borne from the spirited vision of percussionists Andrew Bliss and Kerry O’Brien, who took the ensemble's name from a descriptor of strange sounds: some say "bleep-blop"; they prefer "nief-norf." This onomatopoetic neologism came to stand for any new music that was experimental or avant-garde. The ensemble officially specializes in all things "norf."