limina, for two pianos and percussion (1996), was composed as an exploratory diversion between larger projects. The title, “thresholds,” is meant to suggest points of transition or spaces between categories.
There are two sections; the longer and more eventful first is in duple metre and features a pop-like, four-chord progression in A major. The second is in triple metre and A-flat major, with an outro-like quality. The transition between sections introduces more complex harmonies and a percussion break.
All of the music is built around the initial melodic pattern, a loop that descends in fifths and ascends back to its starting point in fourths. This line is in fact the opening chord unfolded horizontally, and it becomes the rhythmic motor, layered against itself in canon. The final chord is the same as the opening one, though transposed down a semitone.
Composed and recorded August 1996, Korg 01/WFD
Remixed May 2017
Photo: composer, 1997
Music and composer’s notes copyright Bruce A. Russell 2017