Quorum iTunesEXITMUSIC
Written, arranged and produced by
Mikel Rouse
CSM 001

The first piece of its kind for sequencer. This music was used for Ulysses Dove’s Vespers and presented by The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater from 1987 to the present. In the spring of 1995 a film of this work, directed by David Hinton, aired on PBS’s Great Performances “Dance in America” and won 2 Emmy Awards.

…written easily 15 years before the advent of techno or electronica, Quorum remains the ground breaking opus of the electronic age.”

Quorom is a piece for LinnDrum machine (or 18 percussion players) in 9 parts running approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes in length. Though the sequence of parts 1
through 9 must be maintained, the parts may be divided into sections, or run continuously.

Themes are produced through the synchronization of the 3 generators, 3-5-8, and their complimentary factors yield counterthemes. Power series are then applied to produce harmonic contrasts from the original themes. Thematic material is developed through multiple variation techniques (circular permutations, accents through superimposition of
an additional component, natural growth through the summation series).

Distribution of parts within the score follows the same summation series in the ration of 3-2-1 (3 sticks, 3 hi hats, 3 tom toms; 2 ride cymbals 2 congas, 2 snare drums; 1 crash cymbal, 1 tambourine, 1 bass drum). This distribution in conjunction with the arrangement of the themes determines the entrances and exits of the various parts.

A note on LinnDrum programming

In deciding to record this piece, I sought the advice of many programmers. The conclusion was drawn, after consultations in consideration of the score, that anywhere from 20-5- hours would be required. This attitude was somewhat understandable given the current utilization of the machines in the music industry.

I decided to undertake the programming myself and, with the aid of Jim Bergman, successfully completed the programming in about 5 hours. I would like to stress that all programming was done through the step-by-step process provided in the operator’s manual for construction “songs” from “patterns”. No special treatments or
extensions (including cassette interfaces) were required.

This project clarified to me that the criticisms one hears of such devices with regard to an inherent “coldness” or “lack of human feeling”, stems from their being used in such a historically uniform, conventional, almost moribund manner, thereby encouraging a prejudice too early in the game. With a less confining approach, this problem diminishes.