On Tenterhooks is the result of over a year of collaboration with the members of Third Coast Percussion. The piece seeks to explore two fundamentally different ways of experiencing time: that of the pointillistic event that is always yet to occur or already past and that of the immediate presence of continuity in which past and future smoothly converge. In practical terms, this dichotomy is manifested in the difference between simple "percussive" attacks on wood, glass, and metal and a variety of groaning, whining, whimpering, and screaming metallic sounds. Springing from this fundamental difference in material is the problematic between rational and irrational methods of portioning out time, sometimes resulting in lukewarm regions of détente between the two, such as when ultra-striated time simulates smoothness and irrationally defined rhythms manifest a strident feeling of pulse.
On Tenterhooks was premiered by Third Coast Percussion at Chicago's Constellation on December 8th, 2013.