As the title suggests, “Chrono Variations” features time-based transformations in meter and rhythm. Two themes are presented, fragmented, and intertwined amidst changing meters and capricious dynamics. This short piece functions as an etude, or musical exercise, by recreating some of the classic challenges in concert snare repertoire.
The following considerations may be helpful in preparing the piece for performance:
• Customized sticking can be helpful in managing tempo and dynamic control. For instance, the sixteenth-note figure featured in the fourth measure can be more easily rendered with an RRL sticking than with straight alternation. Additionally, the eighth notes in the fourth line should be played with one hand to help preserve an even tone and dynamic level.
• A sixteenth-note roll pulse is most appropriate when playing the piece at tempo.
• The fifth line features a theme fragment in hemiola form. To keep this passage in time, make sure to feel where the quarter note intersects the triplet in each figure.
• When making the transition in and out off the brief 3/8 section, concentrate on the consistent eighth notes and avoid the tendency to let time drag.
• Since the etude utilizes the full dynamic range of the snare drum, make sure the instrument you are using speaks clearly and evenly at all levels. Try to save the edge for only the softest dynamics.
Greg Haynes is a Colorado-based percussionist, composer, and producer. His compositions have been featured in music festivals including the 2014 ISM Percussion Festival in Santa Fe, Argentina, and the 2015 Electronic Music Midwest festival in Kansas City. Haynes is the owner of Strikeclef, LLC, a new publishing company for percussion compositions, and he also works as a film and media composer through GHM Scoring. His recent film scores include those for Wish You Were Here – The Robert C. Bishop Story and The Tesla Files. Haynes serves on faculty at Western State Colorado University in percussion and music theory; he received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Kansas in 2009.