Bill Sallak

percussion • research • creation

Information about CURRENT PROJECTS can also be found on the About page and in the blog.



• Liner notes for Stuart Saunders Smith: A River Rose (New World Records 80754)

• My chapter "On the Nature of Percussion Masterworks" is included in the fabulous compilation The Modern Percussion Revolution: Journeys of the Progressive Artist (New York: Routledge 2014).

• I've been doing a lot of reading and research about theories of silence and their potential applications to music and other time-based arts. I first began thinking about this in relation to John Cage and 4'33", and came to the conclusion that Cage's approach to silence is beautiful in certain cases, but doesn't withstand scrutiny when applied to more general musical settings. This line of inquiry has led to three papers that aim to develop broader theories about phenomenologies of musical silence, as examined through the music of Thomas DeLio, Stuart Saunders Smith, and the minimalist/microsound artist Richard Chartier. While all of these papers are undergoing various revisions, you can read "An Isn't Being as Is: Phenomenologies of Silence in the Music of Stuart Saunders Smith," given at the 2013 American Innovators Symposium at Wright State University, here.



• Easy Worship Operator is a Phoenix-based electroacoustic improvisation trio I performed with for several years, alongside percussionist Joshua Carro and clarinetist/reedist Josh Bennett. We released two albums and had a blast; you can stream a track on the Media page.

• While in Phoenix, I was also a member of Crossing 32nd Street, a great new-music organization run by great people.

• I greatly enjoyed composing the music for Antaeus Dance's evening-length piece Prospect & Refuge, choreographed by the company's director, Joan Meggitt. That music can be streamed on the Media page, and also here.

• For two years I worked closely with the Nief-Norf Project, giving several touring performances with them, presenting research, and teaching at their Summer Festival.

Helping enormously to bind [Prospect and Refuge’s] varied strands are Brad Petot’s poetic lighting and Bill Sallak’s eclectic recorded score, a stew of electronic sonorities, voices, percussion, piano, floor creaks and sounds of nature...
— Donald Rosenberg, Cleveland Plain Dealer

SCORES (Please contact me if you end up performing any of these!)

Palimpsest (after Magnus Carlsen) is a set of miniatures for glockenspiel that I composed for Aaron Michael Butler in late 2014.

Germinal pitch material for Palimpsest (after Magnus Carlsen)

Jonestown Triptych, a solo work for snare drum, percussion, and Max/MSP, was commissioned and premiered by percussionist Scott Farkas. (Please contact me for the Max patch and other files needed to play the piece.)

Palimpsest (after Glass) is a short piece that will (one day, I promise) become the middle movement of a miniature sonata for unaccompanied viola. It was written for Laura Sinclair, who I met as a fellow performer at the Bang on a Can Summer Institute in 2007.

Palimpsest (after Feldman) was written for Jeff Libman as part of Dr. Sabine Feisst's experimental music seminar at ASU. It's scored for three to nine speaking improvising instrumentalists.

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