Clang! is inspired by the following haiku by the 18th century poet Kobayashi Issa:
Clang once more
Mountain temple bell!
The experience described in this haiku is a distinctly musical one: the tolling of a bell being slowly swallowed up in the
sound of a mountain rain storm. This echoes the musical concept of inharmonicity, or the measure of the relative noisiness
of a sound. This is uniquely suited to percussion, which is the only family of instruments which contain both instruments
of definite and indefinite pitch.
Clang! recreates the experience contained in this haiku by moving from unpitched instruments, to pitched instruments and
slowly back to unpitched instruments across the entire work. The pitch content of the piece is based on a scale created as a
product of a spectral analysis of the sound of a Japanese temple bell. Finally, 5-7-5 structures, which are the basis of
Japanese haiku, occur frequently within the piece at both macro, formal levels and at micro, rhythmic and phrase levels.