Guarded Hearts (2012)

Guarded Hearts was one of the first ecosystem pieces I've completed. It is scored for one or two drums, a shaker, and a triangle or a bell. The drums represent two populations, one (population A) active and highly adaptable, the other (population B) placid and stable. Both depend on the same food source, reprsented by shaker patterns. As time progresses, population A incorporates more and more ideas from its surroundings. When a food shortage occurs, it overtakes population B, eventually driving it to extinction. The shell left from population B is then adopted by population A. But this is an evolutionary deadend: there is no more development, only a cycle of three stages that repeats over and over. Another population, one that does not depend on the food source of populations A and B, is glimsed in the rare double bell patterns, scattered through the piece.

PDF score | MP3 audio

Similar ideas were explored in later pieces such as Boltzmann Brain.