Program Notes

Number Nine is inspired by the Beatles’ Revolution 9, their collage-like, musique-concrète-inspired, aural depiction of a revolution, positioned at the climactic point of the White album.  Inspired by the looped phrase “number nine,” “number nine,” “number nine,” etc. at the beginning of the Beatles’ song, I began my Number Nine with an instrumental version of that repeated phrase, and the rest of the piece evolves from its rhythmic and pitch contour.  I also incorporated other Revolution 9 references, weaving their collage fragments into my more continuously evolving arc.  Number Nine was commissioned by percussionist/composer Ted Babcock for his program Machine in the Garden and premiered in January 2014 at the Curtis Institute of Music.

Gabriella Smith