Ronald Perera: Tolling for two pianos and electronic tape (1979)

Tolling derives its name from the recurring bell-like sounds and reiterated single pitches which pervade its texture. The electronic tape part is made largely from electronically-treated, prerecorded piano and zither sounds.

The tolled note A grips the piece in a surface tension from which it repeatedly tries to free itself by small- and large-scale movements to alternative pitch centers, notably B and B-flat. But the A, either as a single note or as the center pitch of a cluster, reasserts itself dramatically at key moments which may be as close together as a few beats or as far apart as a few minutes.

Tolling was written in the summer of 1979. The tape part was realized in the Smith College Electronic Music Studio. The work is dedicated to Kenneth Fearn and Monica Jakuc of the Smith College Music Department, who performed it in New York City’s Alice Tully Hall in the spring of 1980. The electronic tape part is now available from the publisher on CD.

Published by Pear Tree Press Music Publishers
Comments by Ronald Perera.