«Natalie Grant A dissertation submitted in partial satisfaction of the requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Music Performance (Honours) Course ...»
Instrumentation: marimba, claves, cricket caller, maracas, bamboo wind chimes, wood blocks, wooden shoes(2 pr.), temple blocks, anklung, special hand made wooden instruments Duration: 25' Score: CF Peters (EP8889) Recording: not available Additional Information: dedication: to Cercle de Percussion; premiere: 18 November Mauricio Kagel (b. 1931 Buenos Aires, Argentina) Match 1964 Multi-percussion with two cellists Set up like a sports contest with the percussionist as referee the piece is more like a musical pantomime than anything else. The cellists enter from opposite sides of the stage, like tennis players, readying their gear (instruments) for the match. An elaborate series of episodes follows, with each player trying to outdo the other, scowling competitively and assuming defiant postures while scratching, tapping, snapping strings, and so on. As referee, the percussionist tries to direct the cellists but does so in vain as they've reached the end of their scores and have finished playing the piece. The work features such obscurities as throwing dice and a wind up alarm bell on the bass drum, and shouting "NO!" at one of the cellists for playing at the 'wrong' time.
Instrumentation: hand cymbals, suspended cymbal, sizzle cymbal, marimba, snare drum, bass drum, 2 handle-castanets, 2 ratchets, wind up alarm bell, 2 jingle bells, flexatone, dog bark, 2 police whistles, Chinese clatter-drum, 5 dice, 2 dice cases (for shaking), with 2 celli Duration: 18' Score: Universal Publishing, London Recording: Match fur Drei Spieler Deutsche Grammophon Additional Information: Mauricio Kagel is famous for his interest in developing the theatrical side of musical performance. Many of his pieces give specific theatrical instructions to the performers, such as to adopt certain facial expressions while playing, to make their stage entrances in a particular way, to physically interact with other performers and so on.
Stephen Montague (b. 1943 New York, USA) Chew Chow Chatterbox 1998 Four percussionists at dinner This work develops and exploits the unnoticed musical elements and gestures common to dinner parties where musicians gather. Setting is a dinner table: three invited guests and the host. The theatrical gestures are a subtle blend of a lively and absurd dinner party and a more traditional percussion piece.
Features of this work include drumming on tables, chairs and different parts of the body.
Performers play rice bowls and wine glasses with chopsticks, and use napkins (as well as clothing and table cloth) to make a rhythmical 'rubbing' effect. For dinner talk, performers select (mostly nonsense) words and phrases from a list provided which are used as 'conversation' material bouncing rhythmically back and forth across the table.
Instrumentation: four percussionists at dinnertime Duration: 10-12' Score: studio4 music Recording: not available Additional Information: commissioned in 1998 by Bromsgrove Concerts, Worchestershire, UK, for Ensemble Bash. Premiered in the Guestern Hall at the Avoncroft Museum of Buildings, Bromsgrove, England on the 18th November, 1998
Graeme Leak (b. 1960 Victoria, Australia)Yo Yo Man 1991Marimba, feet and voice
Yo Yo Man is inspired by a record Graeme Leak particularly liked listening to as a child, Music and Musicians of the Angolan Border. The rhythm is placed in the performer's feet: stepping with the heels then with the toes, and shuffling. The bass part is in the marimba, and the performer sings or whistles the melody. Yo Yo Man also includes improvised solo marimba section with continuing foot pattern.
Instrumentation: marimba, feet and voice/whistling Duration: 5' Score: available from composer27 Recording: available from composer Additional Information: first performed as a solo percussion work for Graeme Leak's first solo percussion show 'From Africa to the Kitchen Sink' (commissioned by Astra) in Melbourne in 1991
Vinko Globokar (b. 1934 Anderny, France)Corporel (Of the Body) 1984/5Body percussion
In this work the performer wears canvas pants, is bare-chested and barefoot;
seated on the ground, facing the audience. They strike the "soft" parts of the body (cheeks, abdomen, thighs etc) with the flat of the hand, and the "bony" parts (skull, collarbone, breastbone, knee, shin etc) with the fingertip. Avoiding vowel sounds, Graeme Leak email: firstname.lastname@example.org only breathing sounds are used (as well as kisses, clucking tongue, inhaling and exhaling, clapping etc). Renowned Texan percussionist Steve Schick comments that "this piece is shocking on a fundamental level, because the body of the human performer is so often a nonentity component of classical music".28 Instrumentation: body percussion Duration: 10' Score: CF Peters (P08673) Recording: not available Additional Information: premiere: 14 October 1984, Paris Art Center (composer as soloist)
The inclusion of political text in musical works puts a different slant on the works.
It can allow composers and performers alike to take their music beyond the world of the arts and to comment on political and social situations in the world at certain points in time.
Jerome Kitzke (b. 1955 Wisconsin, USA) The Earth Only Endures 2003 Multi-percussion and vocals Jerome Kitzke, who lives in New York City, grew up along the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan in Milwaukee. Since his first artistic work in 1970, he has thought himself to be as much a storyteller as he is a composer.29 The Earth Only Endures is an anti-war work for solo multi-percussionist with singing, dialogue and harmonica.
Kitzke wrote The Earth Only Endures in response to America's invasion of Iraq in
2003. Seeking to add words referential to the young women and men losing their lives, Kitzke added Walt Whitman's Reconciliation from the Drum Taps section of Leaves of Grass. The vocals "should be performed with great theatrical verve". Also body movement "replete with foot stomping and hopping", and ad lib "crisply rapid clicks, pops, whistles, grunts, laughs, groans, stick clicks".30 http://www.peermusicclassical.com/composer/composerdetail.cfm?detail=kitzke Composer's note from score Instrumentation: multi-percussion: E Harmonica/Vocals, 4 chimes (b, e, f sharp, d), 3 splash cymbals, bass drum, 4 toms, bongos, large flexitone, frying pan cover pitched at G below middle C, Marimba Duration: 22' Score: Peer Music NY Recording: not available (currently being recorded) 31 Additional Information: commissioned by Tom Kolor and underwritten by the American Composers Forum with funds provided by the Jerome Foundation. Text by the Tews, Allen Ginsberg (1971), Walt Whitman, the Lakota Jerome Kitzke (b. 1955 Wisconsin, USA) The Character of American Sunlight 1996 Piano, percussion quartet, hands, feet and voice
The epigraph running through the scores of this work reads:
A ghost comes to catch a train to the place where it can see the character of American sunlight. That light, which "long ago gave up its claim on innocence", now searches, as it must, to illuminate the darkness of the American human nature. Recognizing this, the spirit is pleased and catches the train hack home to everywhere.
The essence of these words comes from words spoken by historian Patricia Nelson Limerick, writer Henry James, and Drex Brooks' Sweet Medecine, a photographic essay of Indian massacre, battlefield, and treaty sights.
Reference correspondence with composer In 1995, Ms. Limerick spoke of fhe light that "illuminated the events of the Indian/White wars", saying that "the sun came to know quite a few of the most unsettling 'secrets' of human nature. To try and forget those secrets diminishes the human spirit..."
There is a vocal ad-lib section in which players are instructed to use a historical text-poem-story of their choosing (American) or "the ever popular language of nonsense", "make this a dance, put whole body into it".32 They then add feet and vocal sounds: wolf-like howling, singing.
Instrumentation: piano, percussion (4 players, each with: flexatone, waterpot (different sizes), splash cymbal, triangle (different sizes), maracas, harmonica, hands, feet, voice Duration: 12' Score: Peer Music NY Recording: The Character of the American Sunlight CD available from Koch International Classics (3-7456-2 HI) Additional Information: premiered May 15 1996; Essential Music; Washington Square Churce; New York City. Lyric for song at end of Kitzke's work by Jack Kerouac from On the Road © 1955,195733 J2 Composer's note from score j3 http://www.peermusicclassical.com/catalog/catalog detail.cfm?composer ID=609&ensembie type id=&en semble detail ID=&Theme id=&title=&totalcount=21 Jerome Kitzke (b. 1955 Wisconsin, USA) The Paha Sapa Give-Back 1993 Piano, percussion quartet
The epigraph running thrpugh the score reads:
A ghost comes to catch a train to the place where it can see the character of American sunlight. The light, which long ago gave up its claim on innocence, now searches, as it must, to illuminate the darkness of the American human nature. Recognizing this, the spirit is pleased and catches the train back home to everywhere.
This work is an exhortation for all of us to pay attention to and act upon the sovereignty and sacred land claim issues of the world's indigenous peoples. Paha Sapa is Lakota for Black Hills. They call them "the heart of everything that is".
Since the 1870s, the Lakota have been struggling on the battlefield and in the courtroom to protect and reclaim the Black Hills, which had been declared legally theirs by the 1868 Ft. Laramie Treaty.
Soon after the 1874 discovery of gold in the Black Hills came a series of illegal land deals that robbed the Lakota of their holy land.
In 1975 the US Court of Claims called the government's conduct toward the Lakota in all probability "the most ripe and rand case of dishonorable dealings" in US history. The government's response was to offer money as compensation, which the Lakota refused then and continue to refuse now34. In spirit-opposition to the traditional Indian 'give-away', The Paha Sapa Give-Back suggests we do just that.
Give the land back and attend the flower that blooms from the act.
Composer's notes from score Vocal sounds made by the perfprmers range from spoken whispers to singing ("ah" at given pitches), speaking and shouting. The composer insists that "spoken parts must all be emotionally intense no matter what the volume" and that "singing should be raw and intense...let it wail" Instrumentation: amplified piano, percussion (4 players, all with the same set-up)
1. concert bass drum
2. kick drum
3. two tom-toms
4. snare drum
5. sleighbells Duration: 15' Score: Peer Music, NY Recording: The Character of the American Sunlight CD is available from Koch International Classics (3-7456-2 HI) Additional Information: the work forms part of a quartet of works by Kitzke that deal with the Black Hills land issues. The Paha Sapa Give-Back was written for Essential music and is dedicated to all people still fighting for the rights to their sacred lands.
Frederic Rzewski (b.1938 Massachusetts, USA) Coming Together and Attica 1971 Narrator and flexible ensemble Rzewski's piece, written for narrator and instruments, though not strictly a percussion work, has been performed as such. It makes use of improvisation and repetition, and has strong social and political connotations. The eight sentences from a letter by 60s activist Sam Melville (a political prisoner killed in the 1971 Attica prison riots) are first narrated in an additive then in a deductive progression.
The title of the piece is a reference to a sentence of the letter and to the technique of musical improvisation. The text - a prison letter by Melville written shortly before his death during the prison uprising—is integrated with the music; the detached, minimalist compositional method of reciting key phrases and fragments from Melville's defiant but upbeat letter repeatedly, as through a tape loop, allows the listener to appreciate the sad irony of his death.35
The beginning of Melville's text:
I think the combination of age and a greater coming together is responsible for the speed of the passing time. It's six months now, and I can tell you truthfully few periods in my life have passed so quickly. I am in excellent physical and emotional health. There are doubtless subtle surprises ahead, but I feel secure and ready...
Instrumentation: flexible instrumentation Duration: 18' Score: available from composer36 Recording: eighth blackbird's/red 37 Additional Information: Sam Melville's original name was Samuel Grossman and he was convicted of the 1969 Manhattan bombings, which were politically inspired.
j5 http://www.newmusicbox.org/article.nmbx?id=4428 E-mail address (c/o Esther Freifeld): esther.freifeld(S),svstech.be (http://composers21.com/compdocs/rzewskif. htm) http://www.eighthblackbird.com/fred/index.html v. Text from literature Czech nationalist composer Leos Janacek wrote that "when, during a conversation, we quote the words of someone else, we are halfway to a theatrical performance".
Text and music have frequently gone hand in hand, as composers and authors alike strive to find different ways to communicate with their audiences.
Veronika Krausas (b. 1963 Sydney, Australia) Five Intermezzi for Snare Drum 2002 Snare drum and voice This work comprises five solo pieces with simultaneous text performance (ie.
percussionist speaks and plays) of poems by Wassily Kandinsky, e e cummings, Gwendolyn MacEwan, and Robert Lax. The middle movement uses nonsense sounds imitating drum noises and the percussionist performs an "air drum" solo.
Instrumentation: snare drum and voice Duration: 10' Score: available from composer38 Recording: Mnemosyne -chamber works of Veronika Krausas recorded by Motion Ensemble (perMUTATION records) with texts by Andre Alexis39 Additional Information: written for Brian Bartel Veronika Krausas email: email@example.com j9 http://www.veronikakrausas.com/recordings/ James Rolfe (b. 1961 Ontario, Canada) The Connection 2001 Marimba and voice In this work the marimbist speaks text by Daniil Kharms (English translation).
James Rolfe's score contains performance notes: "The marimba part is deliberately unidiomatic at times, to match the convoluted logic of the text". The text can be performed in many different ways: affectionately, ironically, deadpan, childlike, for example, or combinations of the above.