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Image by Weston MacKinnon

Double Double This That

2023 • 5 percussionists • 4'

A playful work that explores recombining paired structures—form, meter, groove, and pitch collection.

Available for purchase in late 2023.

About the Work

Double Double This ThatLauren Spavelko
00:00 / 04:23


Double Double This That contrasts and recombines opposing structures in its pitch, rhythm, and form to explore how they evolve and interact. The title is inspired by a popular hand clap game, which similarly mixes ideas to create new combinations:


Double Double / This This

Double Double / That That

Double This / Double That

Double Double This That


Double Double This That uses two pitch collections: C♯ dorian (C♯ D♯ E F♯ G♯ A♯ B C ) ♯ and E dorian (E F G A B C D E). These have 4 common notes and 3 distinct notes.


The first melodic theme is active and perpetually moving, while the second theme is more lyrical with longer rhythms. Both of these melodies are laid over the same rhythmic structure (Groove A). These are punctuated by a shorter third idea with many repeated notes and a new rhythmic structure (Groove B).


The melodies are presented in both keys and later spliced together mid-phrase, creating twists and turns through the tune. Complementary melodies using notes from the opposite collection are also imposed on these themes which causes the distinct notes to “pull” at the ear and create tension.


Finally, the overall form of the piece is a large two-part structure. The first half is energetic, playful, and full of motion. The second half—delineated by the shimmer of the mark tree—is more relaxed in its tempo and character. It expands on the more lyrical second theme and includes new colors such as rolls on the keyboard instruments and hand drumming. The piece concludes with a unity of opposites—the vibraphone plays a final chord that uses the 1st and 5th notes from both pitch collections, and the ensemble plays the shaker rhythms from Groove A on top of the mallet rhythms for Groove B.

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