Advancing Percussion Through Coposition: Interviews With .

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Advancing Percussion ThroughComposition Interviews with emergingpercussionist-composersBy Oliver MolinaOn March 18, 2014 Dr. Dave Gerhartposted a blog on drumchattr.comhighlighting thoughts of Dr. JohnLane from the PASIC 2013 session“Four Manifestos of the Percussive Artist.” Dr.Lane listed five points in his lecture that addressed five problems suppressing the advancement of the percussive artist.After reading the blog post I pondered thecurrent state of percussion and where it will bein the future. I started to think about today’scomposers who are advancing the percussivearts, and I compiled a list of emerging percussionist-composers who I believed are startingto add to the current musical canon. I wantedto pick their brains about their backgrounds,composing, how they have developed as a composer, and where they think the direction ofpercussion composition is going.The composers chosen for interview havewon the PAS composition contest, startedtheir own publishing house, have their musicpublished through various publishing companies, have been commissioned on numerousoccasions, and have had works premiered atPASIC. The composers interviewed were AndyAkiho, Brian Blume, Joe Moore, Brian Nozny,Baljinder Sekhon, and Ivan Trevino.Andy Akiho is a Ph.D. candidate at Princeton University in New Jersey. Brian Blume isthe Instructor of Percussion at SoutheasternUniversity in Lakeland, Florida. Joe Moore isthe instructor of percussion at the Universityof Texas – Rio Grande Valley. Brian Nozny ison percussion faculty at Troy University in Alabama. Baljinder Sekhon serves on the composition faculty at the University of South Floridain Tampa. Ivan Trevino is a percussionist androck drummer residing in Austin, Texas.Oliver Molina: When and how did you getyour start with composing?Ivan Trevino: I started songwriting in highschool for a punk band I played in. I playa bit of guitar, which at the time was myPERCUSSIVE NOTES22 MAY 2016principal songwriting instrument. Once Igot to Eastman for my undergrad percussionstudies, I started transferring my songwriting background to more formal “academic”compositions.Brian Blume: I first began composing cadences, exercises, short features for marchingband shows, etc. for my high school drumline. More substantial composing experiencecame during college when I began writingfor indoor percussion ensembles—my firstexperience writing for melodic percussion.I got my start writing concert percussionmusic when I needed a multi-percussionsolo for a recital and had trouble finding oneI liked. So my teacher said, “Just write one!”And I did!Baljinder Sekhon: My first composition wasa piece for solo snare drum when I was nineyears old. I brought it to my private teacher,Myles Overton, during one of my percussionlessons and was very excited about the ideathat I could write music down on manuscript. This was followed by numerous etudesfor a variety of percussion instruments thatI continued to work on throughout middleschool. My first “serious” piece wasn’t until I was 15 or 16 when I set some texts byWilliam Blake and wrote my first chamberorchestra piece. Beyond my earliest worksfor percussion, I did not focus on composingfor percussion during the most importantstages of my development as a composer. Iwas more focused on composing for a widerange of instruments and only moved backto serious percussion writing when I felt mycreative skills could be applied to the medium in a way that would contribute a uniquevoice to our field.Brian Nozny: When I was in high school Iwrote some things for the rock band I wasin, but I didn’t really start composing seriously until I got to college. The first pieceI wrote was a marimba solo called “Away”when I was an undergrad. I had this idea thatI didn’t want to play anything other guys inthe studio were playing, so when my teachersuggested some pieces that were already being played, I asked if I could write somethingmyself instead, and he went for it.Joe Moore: I started composing during myundergraduate studies at the University ofCentral Florida. As a percussion student Iwas required to write a short compositionfor a specified percussion instrument eachsemester. My sophomore year I was requiredto compose a short multiple percussion workX-amount of measures long, so I decided towrite a multiple percussion duet based onthe number 5. I titled the work “Dimension5” and performed it on my junior recital withpercussionist Chris McWilliams. I sent thescore and recording to Innovative PercussionPublications on a whim. They published thework, and from that point I decided that if Iwas going to be serious about composing Ishould actually study the art of composition.Andy Akiho: As a percussionist, I have always wanted to create and invent. Becausewe are constantly asked to find or buildinstruments, invent sounds, improvise, andconceptualize percussion setups, we are constantly situated in what I think is a compositional mindset. I never knew that was a pathtowards becoming a real composer, but I amreally happy it ended up that way.Molina: What is your compositional background?Trevino: Composing is something I grew into.I didn’t major in composition in college, soI kind of learned by doing. My songwritingbackground definitely helped, and it helpedthat I was immersed in all kinds of music,both classical and non classical, which Ithink formed my own sound and style. I wasalso lucky to have John Beck as a percussionteacher at Eastman, who supported my passion for composing and encouraged me tobring my compositions in to our lessons for

A new combination ofinstruments inspires me toaccept the challenge ofwriting for somethingunfamiliar.—Andy Akihohim to listen to and critique. I never thoughtthat composing music would be such a bigpart of my life, but now I can’t imagine a lifewithout creating music. I’ve written over 30works for the percussion genre, and some ofthe performers and groups I’ve written forinclude Michael Burritt, Dr. Eric Willie, Phillip O’Banion, Eastman School of Music, Tennessee Tech University, Novus Percurtere,and Escape 10 Percussion Duo. I also writefor non-percussionists and am one of theprincipal composers for Break of Reality, acello rock band out of New York City.Blume: After getting my start writing for indoor percussion, I began writing for concertpercussion—solo and ensemble—whilestudying with Kevin Bobo, David Schneider,and Aaron Travers during undergraduateand graduate studies at Indiana University. Ihave composed or arranged over 25 indooror marching band shows, a variety of concertpercussion works, two choral works, a fewfixed electronics pieces, and music for television commercials, which have aired on CBS,ESPN, Big Ten Network, and MTV.Sekhon: My formal composition training camefrom the Eastman School of Music, whereI received a PhD and MM, and I studiedwith Robert Morris, David Liptak, RicardoZohn-Muldoon, Allan Schindler, and CarlosSanchez-Gutierrez. Eastman has a rotatingcomposition studio, and I was fortunate tostudy with everyone during my time there.My BM in Composition/Theory is from University of South Carolina where my primaryteacher was John Fitz Rogers. My time as acomposition fellow at Bang On a Can, TheComposers Conference at Wellesley College, and the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra alsomade significant contributions to my growthas a composer. The majority of my formaltraining was devoted to learning about anddeveloping compositional systems, expanding my musical tastes, and exploring a widerange of genres.Nozny: I got my BA at Virginia Tech, whereI did emphasis in both performance andcomposition. There my main compositionteacher was Jon Polifrone, though I alsostudied with Kent Holliday and jazz composition with Chip McNeill. I then went to theUniversity of Miami where I got a Mastersin Composition studying with Don Wilson and electro-acoustic composition withKeith Kothman. At the University of NorthTexas, where I got my masters degree inperformance, graduate students are requiredto have a minor concentration so I studiedmore electro-acoustic composition withDave Gedosh, Jon Nelson, and ChapmanWelch.While in college I wrote for just about everything except strings. Now though, I prettymuch stick to percussion. I’ve been commissioned by the Caixa Trio, Omar Carmenates,the Denkyem Percussion Group, the FloridaState University Percussion Ensemble, AdamGroh, Scott Herring, the MASS MarimbaBand, Nexus, the University of KentuckyPercussion Ensemble, the University ofNorth Texas Percussion Ensemble, and theTroy University Percussion Ensemble.Moore: At UCF I studied composition with JayBatzner, who now teaches at Central Michigan University. I also studied with DinosConstantinides and Brett William Dietz atLSU.I have written works for several differentinstruments and ensembles. My solo instrument catalogue includes works for flute,oboe, E-flat clarinet, alto clarinet, bass clarinet, alto saxophone, baritone saxophone,horn, tuba, piano, electric guitar, banjo, harp,toy piano, hammered dulcimer, soprano(voice), multiple percussion, cowbell, crotales, glockenspiel, marimba, vibraphone,snare drum, timpani, congas, kalimba, tambourine, and waterphone.As far as ensembles go, my catalogueincludes works for orchestra, band, stringquartet, woodwind quintet, percussionensemble, and several mixed chamberensembles. I have composed works forHamiruge – the LSU Percussion Group, theIowa City Percussion Group, the DenkyemPercussion Group, the Rosewind Duo – ScottHerring and Clifford Leaman, Brett WilliamDietz, Brandon Arvay, Gustavo Miranda andDeborah Sophia (percussion and violin duo),Aaron Railey, Daniel Heagney, Kathryn Irwin and Emily Strachan, Kids’ Orchestra ofBaton Rouge, the Dauphine Street Duo (DanHeagney, percussion and Bethany Padgett,flute), the Rio Bravo Percussion Ensemble,the UTB Marimba Quartet, Oliver Molina,Robert Giovanelli and Patrick Chapman(percussion duo), and Holly Brewer (flutist).Akiho: I am currently working on a Ph.D. incomposition at Princeton University, whereI have studied with Steven Mackey, PaulLansky, Dan Trueman, Dmitri Tymoczko,and Donnacha Dennehy. From 2009–11, Istudied with David Lang, Martin Bresnick,Christopher Theofanidis, and Ezra Laderman at Yale School of Music. My first officialcomposition teacher was Julia Wolfe, whom Istudied with while attending the ManhattanSchool of Music from 2007–09. I have alsoworked with Christopher Rouse and Matthias Pintscher at the 2011 Aspen SummerMusic Festival. I have written for various instruments and ensemble types, ranging fromsolo piano to large orchestra; almost everypiece that I have written has been for a different combination of instruments.Sometimes it helps towrite entirely away fromthe instrument at first.—Brian BlumePERCUSSIVE NOTES23 MAY 2016

Being a composer in the21st century, I don’t haveto compose in one specificstyle.—Joe MooreMolina: How would you define your compositional style?Trevino: That’s a tough question! I think mymusic is a culmination of lots of differentideas and styles. Maybe “indie/post rock/percussion”? Is that a genre?Blume: I recently read an article by musicologist Kyle Gann, in which he uses the term“totalism” to describe a sort of post postminimalism style of music that has someroots in minimalism. His description oftotalism seems to pretty well cover much ofthe music I write—music that “appeals tolay audiences, yet also provides enough underlying complexity to intrigue sophisticatedmusicians.” I find that much of my musicis fueled by rhythm, though I sometimesmake an effort to write with sound, color, orharmony as the guiding force. While I tendto write in a more “tonal” tradition, I enjoysearching for harmonies that stretch outsideof the general notion of consonance or “prettiness.”Sekhon: I would not place my output into anyexisting category. Depending on the piece,one might find influences from electronicmusic to pop music to modernism. Onething I loved about being a performer wasbeing constantly involved with a variety ofmusical styles, whether it was in orchestra, asa soloist, in a rock band, or in a world musicensemble. That experience has transferredinto my compositional life, as each new commission provides the opportunity to explorea different style.Nozny: I enjoy taking a minimal amount ofmaterials, whether that’s thematically, instrumentally, whatever, and seeing how far I canstretch them. I wouldn’t call it minimalist,though, since it’s not necessarily a processoriented use of the materials.Moore: Elements from all of the styles listedare contained in my compositions. That isthe beauty of being a composer in the 21stcentury. I don’t have to compose in onespecific style; instead, I can use compositional techniques from any style of musicPERCUSSIVE NOTES24 MAY 2016that interests me. This allows me to reinventmyself as a composer and the opportunityto master/practice composing in a differentstyle. Yes, composers practice, too. We workon our craft just as performers do.Akiho: My style is a culmination of all of mylife experiences and musical styles. I enjoywriting music that is appropriate to the specific situations and performers I am writingfor. I like to get to know my collaborators ifpossible, and then write a piece that I feelwill best represent and challenge them.Molina: Who is your role model as a composer?Trevino: Thom Yorke from Radiohead is oneof my favorite songwriters. Yorke can’t readmusic, so he “writes” whatever sounds good.Not a lot of rules going on, which gives himhis own unique voice and style. I love that.Blume: I don’t know that I have a single rolemodel as a composer. A few current composers that I occasionally look to for inspirationinclude John Psathas, Dave Maric, DavidReeves, Kevin Bobo, and Gordon Stout.These guys all have a way of creating something easily digestible for me, yet deep andcomplex enough that I’m peeling back layersof genius to discover such interesting aspectsof their work. Other influences on my styleinclude Bartók, Stravinsky, Glass, Debussy,and even some more mainstream pop andjazz artists like Josh Garrels, Muse, TrentReznor of Nine Inch Nails, Gary Burton, PatMetheny, and the California Guitar Trio, toname a few.Sekhon: All of my former composition teachers serve as role models for me. Each hascontributed significantly to some aspect ofwho I am and have served as models forwho I want to be. Artistically, there are manyrecent composers and compositions I wouldconsider to be role models for my music, andI look up to some compositions in a similarway. Among my favorite recent works forpercussion are “30” by Mark Applebaum and“To The Roaring Wind” by Matt Barber. Iconsider these pieces to be major additionsto the percussion literature. Of course, thehistorical greats are included in my list ofrole models: Iannis Xenakis, Lou Harrison,John Cage, Edgar Varèse, etc.Nozny: There are so many for lots of differentreasons. I love Samuel Barber for his lyricism and harmonic language. Erik Satie’sharmonic language has always resonatedwith me. Christopher Rouse for his rhythmicideas and the variety of his sound. Christopher Deane has been a huge mentor to me inhelping me look past the obvious answers ofcomposition and see deeper down the rabbithole of sound. Paul Lansky has such a greatcommand of texture. I also listen to rockand metal more than anything, so bands likePantera, Tool, and Periphery have had a biginfluence on me.Moore: Several composers are on my list, soI will give you an answer that includes bothliving and dead composers. Living: PaulLanksy, David Lang, John Luther Adams,David Stock, Peter Klatzow, Philip Glass, Dinos Constantinides, and Brett Dietz, to namea few in no particular order. Dead: ArnoldSchoenberg, Anton Webern, Alban Berg, Edgard Varèse, Igor Stravinsky, Warren Benson,Alan Hovhaness, Ludwig van Beethoven,J.S. Bach, Hector Berlioz, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, OliverMessiaen, Benjamin Britten, John Cage,Witold Lutoslawski, Iannis Xenakis, WarrenBenson, Claude Debussy, Wilhelm RichardWagner, and David Stock. I am sure I amleaving many other great composers thatinfluence me off of this list. But these are theones that come to mind immediately.To actually answer your question, I guessmy role model would have to be Brett William Dietz. He is a percussionist and a composer, as I am. As a mentor, he stressed theimportance of studying composition likeyou would study your primary instrument.I believe this is an important message to anyaspiring composer, whether composition istheir primary or secondary area of study as amusician.Akiho: All of my teachers, musical colleagues,and friends have been incredible role modelsin addition to all of the usual suspects. I likealmost everything!Molina: What is your favorite instrument/idiom/genre to compose for?Trevino: I enjoy writing for all types of instruments. I like writing large-scale mallet works,and I absolutely love writing for drumset. Ialso enjoy incorporating spoken word in mypieces, which I’ve done a handful of timesBlume: I like writing for pretty much all theidioms/genres I’ve composed for. I reallydo love composing for indoor percussionensembles, largely because I enjoy workingwith the choreographer/drill designer to create an entire production that communicates

a story. The added electronic element inindoor percussion ensemble is a dauntingbut also really fun and exciting part of thatworld. I also love writing for the concert hall,especially for keyboards.Sekhon: Since 2006, I have slowly been working of a series of works for solo instrumentplus percussion ensemble, and have so farcompleted works in this series for cello,viola, saxophone, voice, steel pan, and classical guitar. Next up are such works for piano,oboe, and trumpet. My long-term plan is toeventually complete one of these pieces foreach classical instrument. This project hasprovided me with the opportunity to continue contributing to the percussion repertoirewhile constantly collaborating with a widerange of instrumentalists and communities.Aside from this series, I enjoy working withsoloists in any setting, such as with electronics, alone, or with large and small ensembles.In recent years, I have become very involvedin the saxophone community and countsaxophone and percussion among my favorite instruments to compose for.Nozny: I tend to have the most fun writing forsmall chamber groups. The possibilities thatoccur when you start putting performers together is something I really enjoy. Chambermusic is also the settings where I enjoy performing the most, so I’m sure there’s someconnection because of that.Moore: I really enjoy composing for percussion—not because it is my primary instrument, but because of the opportunity toexplore a wide spectrum of different sounds.Akiho: My favorite instrumental ensembleto write for is whatever instrumentation isused for the piece I am currently working on.Each ensemble presents a new challenge, andbecause almost every piece I have recentlywritten is for a new combination of instruments, it inspires me to accept the challengeof writing for something unfamiliar. Myfavorite instrument is probably the cello; it isan extremely personal and musically diverseinstrument.Molina: What is the weirdest instrument youhave written for?Trevino: Hmm probably iPhone.Blume: Not so much an instrument as a collection of instruments. A school I wrotemarching band music for had a funny,pieced-together contraption they called the“junk rack” that was actually marched by astudent in the battery. It consisted of a coupleof mini timbales, cymbal, cowbell, Jamblock,tambourine, triangle, and whatever else theywanted to throw on there.Sekhon: I have a work for steel drum band andgamelan ensemble called “Mi(2).” This workwas composed for and premiered by theEastman Gamelan Lila Muni along with asteel drum band I put together that includedmy longtime friend Andy Akiho. That is themost non-standard ensemble I have composed for.Nozny: That probably would have to be “Thief ”for solo marimba and tuned metal pipes.You take all of the pipes from Paul Lansky’spiece “Threads,” except for the bottom A andC-sharp, and lay them in the spaces betweenthe accidental groups as well as some on thelower notes and upper notes on some eggcrates. It seems like a really strange combination, but made for a beautiful soundscape.Moore: The weirdest instrument I have writtenfor would be the waterphone. Last summerduring my “Project Create 2013” I composeda solo waterphone piece for Dan Moore atthe University of Iowa. Dan premiered thework and posted a video of his performanceon YouTube.Akiho: A television smashed with a baseballbat.Molina: What was the first piece you composed?How has your compositional style evolvedsince then?Trevino: My first composition was “Memento,”a marimba solo I composed during my undergraduate studies at Eastman. “Memento”has subtle elements of some of my favoritepercussion composers, like Michael BurrittOne thing I hope to see ismore quality writing foryounger orless-experienced groups.—Brian Noznyand Gordon Stout, and also elements of pop/indie rock. Since then, my composing hasbeen influenced by non-percussion stuff,bands like Bon Iver and St. Vincent to namea few.Blume: Leaving out the marching percussionmusic I had written to that point, I consider“Psalm 104 for Multiple Percussion” thefirst real piece I composed (2007). My stylehas definitely evolved as I’ve learned moreabout form, organization, and how to communicate effectively through music. I believea composer must learn how to organize andwield musical components to say what heor she means to say the same way one mustconsider how to construct a story with written language.Sekhon: The first “real” percussion piece Icomposed is called “We Are The Weapons” for six-player percussion ensemble.While I was already experimenting withan extended use of instruments in thispiece—for example, rolling a glass bottleon the vibraphone—I would consider thestyle of this work to be a fairly mainstreameducational work and very different from mycurrent output. I attribute my change to theseveral years I spent intentionally not writingfor percussion instruments. I developed mycompositional interests and skills independent of any trends found in the percussionrepertoire, while maintaining an awareness of the works being done in percussioncomposition. I began composing again forpercussion with a larger collection of compositional tools based on a wider interest inexperimental music and contemporary compositional practices. Since my earliest work,my compositional style has become morediverse and experimental. I have capturedthe spirit of my interest in the application ofcompositional systems to percussion writing by non-percussionist composers in myPhD dissertation, “Percussion Composition:Genres and Compositional Techniques.”Nozny: I mentioned “Away” before, but Idon’t really count that as something in mycompositional repertoire at this point. Thefirst piece I wrote where I really felt like I’dfigured some things out and it could standfully on its own was my marimba quartet“Purdy’s Maze.” As for how my style hasevolved, I would say it’s become much morestreamlined. I’ve figured out how I workand become more efficient with not only thematerials I use and how I use them, but alsowith my workflow. I’m pretty good at listening to my stuff critically and seeing veryquickly whether or not I’m going in a gooddirection with a piece and then adjusting asneeded.Moore: I wrote my first composition in middleschool as a band assignment; it was a snaredrum solo. My compositional style hasevolved a great deal since then because IPERCUSSIVE NOTES25 MAY 2016

The direction ofpercussion will continuein every direction.—Baljinder Sekhonhave had the opportunity to study composition. Composing is not easy. For me, thestudy of the craft was always very important,which is why I sought out every opportunityto study composition while also pursuingmy percussion studies in college. I was fortunate that Jay Batzner took me on as a nonmajor during my undergraduate studies. Jayencouraged me to write music focusing onsound, as I was required to compose bothacoustic and electroacoustic music. Duringmy studies at LSU I was fortunate to studywith both Brett Dietz and Dinos Constantinides. Brett encouraged me to listen to andto get to know the music of living composersso that I am aware of what other composers,like myself, are doing. Dinos focused myattention on the score study of many of thegreat composers throughout history.Akiho: I have many pieces that I call my “firstcomposition” because that depends on whatis considered a composition. “Phatamachickenlick” (1997) was a rudimental snaredrum duet that I wrote my senior year inhigh school. I wrote a lot of color pieces inmy Synesthesia Suite from around 2003–06,such as “Aka” (red) and “Murasaki” (purple),but those weren’t written down on paper/computer until about 2009. My first official“classical” composition was “SubconsciousInconsistency,” a chamber ensemble piecefor soprano voice and eight instrumentaliststhat I wrote when I arrived at ManhattanSchool in 2007. Naturally, my compositionalstyle has changed throughout the years because I used to only write for ensembles thatI was performing in, where I would teachthe pieces by rote. Now, I often write for newmusic chamber groups and orchestras whereeveryone reads really well and is expectingthe notation to be precise. It is a completelydifferent experience, and I enjoy having opportunities to write in both styles.Molina: What do you consider your most successful piece and why?Trevino: My favorite piece that I’ve written isprobably “Hands Up,” which is a large-scalePERCUSSIVE NOTES26 MAY 2016percussion ensemble work about the 2014protests in Ferguson, Missouri, created toencapsulate the ongoing race issues in theU.S. It features 10 percussionists, includinga drumset soloist, mallet players, and fourplayers who recite rhythmic text via amplified megaphones. The piece that is mostfrequently performed is probably “CatchingShadows,” a marimba duo that was lateradapted for percussion sextet.Blume: Depending on how you define “successful,” I would say “Strands of Time” formarching snare drum and digital audioaccompaniment. Regardless of how it wasreceived, it was a success for me simply because I figured out how to do the electronicpart of it! But I believe it has also been wellreceived, and it’s been performed around thecountry and overseas. This piece caters todrum corps/indoor drumline players, andsticks out because there are few pieces quitelike it. A few composers told me this pieceinspired their composition, too, which is really neat for me to hear.Sekhon: The works I am most proud of artistically are “Twelve Virtues” for soprano and 12percussion, and “The Offering,” a concertofor saxophone and orchestra. Oddly, theseare probably my least performed works. Mypercussion works that are performed mostoften include “SUN” for percussion trio,“Colored Windows, Tempered Rooms” for 8percussion, “Passageways” for steel pan plus5–10 percussion, “Gradient 2.0” for sax and5 percussion, “Compass” for viola and percussion, and “Refuge” for 7 percussion.Nozny: I would say “successful” in terms ofwhich one I like the best would be “Parallel”for percussion quartet. I think it’s a beautiful piece that doesn’t sound, to me at least,like anything else out there. Maybe this willchange as time goes on and I grow more as acomposer.Moore: “Five Pieces for Solo Glockenspiel”recorded by Brett William Dietz on his CDNocturne. To me, these solo glockenspielpieces are some of the best music I havewritten. They represent many of the compositional techniques learned while studying with Dinos Constantinides and BrettWilliam Dietz. I believe I grew the most asa composer while studying with Brett andDinos, and this work represents that growth.Another “successful” piece of mine is “Nowind, no rain, just a subtle mist” for solo vibraphone. “No wind” was written for a consortium organized by Daniel Heagney.Akiho: My favorite piece is a short work from2009 titled “Ki Iro” (Yellow), for woodwinds,strings, and percussion. My most successfulpiece in the classical contemporary worldhas probably been “LIgNEouS 1” for marimba and string quartet.Molina: What are some of your current composition projects?Trevino: I just completed a piece for snaredrum and tape titled “Spur,” which was commissioned by a consortium led by percussionist Korry Friend. I’m currently writinga piece for cello soloist with percussionensemble for Meta Weiss of QueenslandConservatorium, a piece for percussion duoand Break of Reality that Michael Burritt andI will premiere with the band at Eastman, apiece for spoken word and marimba soloist,and an unaccompanied saxophone solo.Blume: I am writing a short drumset solo forthe Rhythm! Scene publication. I’m in theearly stages of a marimba solo, probablymedium/advanced level, inspired by some ofthe experiences of becoming a father. AndI’ve just been commissioned to compose acouple of works for less experienced players.This includes a multi-percussion quartet anda collection of marimba/vibraphone duets.Sekhon: I recently completed two commissions I am very excited about. One is a newsonata for saxophone and piano, “Sonata ofPuzzles.” This work was commissioned bysome of the top saxophonists around theworld through the Global Premiere Consortium Commissioning Project. The otheris a work called “Passageways” for solo steeldrum and percussion ensemble, commissioned by a group of over 40 percussionistsled by Dave Gerhart. I am currently finishinga solo marimba piece for Michael Burritt anda consortium of soloists, a concerto for pianoand percussion ensemble for the McCormickPercussion Group and soloist Eunmi Ko,and a new work for the Eastman SaxophoneProject. Finally, I have been working on anew CD that will feature the Los AngelesPercussion Quartet, line u

tales, glockenspiel, marimba, vibraphone, snare drum, timpani, congas, kalimba, tam-bourine, and waterphone. As far as ensembles go, my catalogue includes works for orchestra, band, string quartet, woodwind quintet, percussion ensemble, and several mixed chamber ensembles. I have composed works for Hamiruge – the LSU Percussion Group, the

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