I wrote Tantrum in April 2011 when my friend Sean Harvey asked me to write a piece for solo snare drum for his recital.
The piece helps guide the listener through— or remind him/her— how it feels to take a temper tantrum. The dramatic, emotional rises and falls during this type of behavior are symbolized by rhythmically dense music with many dynamic changes. Throughout the piece, sporadic changes in feel also occur through the use of metric modulation, rhythmic superimposition, and meter changes.
Tantrum opens with a recurring theme based on quintuplets interrupted by groups of three.
This theme develops before it is followed by a very aggressive passage. A significant drop in dynamics and less dense music suggest the aggression is subsiding, but these intense musical ideas and frequent changes of emotion remain on a relentless, uncontrollable path, until the tantrum is finally over.