Caroline Mallonée: HAMMERING AWAY


Hammering Away was commissioned by the Walden School for the PRISM Saxophone Quartet and was 

premiered in July 2005.

PRISM also played the piece in Philadelphia and New York during their 2005-2006 season. 

The Ancia Saxophone Quartet included Hammering Away on their 2012 season with performances in venues across Wisconsin and Minnesota.

  1. for saxophone quartet

  1. duration: 7.5 minutes

Hammering Away

Performed by the PRISM Saxophone Quartet

Program Note:

Hammering Away (at the Great Unknown) attacks one chord structure. Listen for canons, chains of suspensions, inversion, augmentation, and other fun compositional devices before the counterpoint falls apart and we hear the melodic version of the structure played in rhythmic unison in four different transpositions simultaneously for a long time and loudly.  The saxophones hammer at the chord, and use it to hammer away at bigger issues that inevitably come up when concentrating on something specific.  Ultimately, this piece is about the futility of concentrating on one thing; it is only through diversifying our efforts that we say something truly profound.