for solo percussion: triangle (medium size), cow bell, three suspended cymbals (small, medium and large), four temple blocks, a pair of bongos, four roto-toms and xylophone (or marimba); 3120; tenor sax; 0221(opt.); strings
This short work was written for the orchestra of Auckland Grammar School and a talented senior student percussionist. It is in a straight-forward tonal style, including a cadenza for the soloist.
The work consists of three main ideas. Follow a short introduction the xylophone presents the main melodic material of the first idea. The 2nd main idea is chromatic chord that builds through the orchestra several times. Against this the percussion has more angular melodic material and more syncopated rhythmic ideas. The second section builds to a climax which immediately gives way to the 3rd section which is fugal. The melody from the 1st section re-appears, not as the fugue subject, but rather as the counter-subject of the fugue. This section mainly features the woodwind section of the orchestra interacting with the percussionist. The fugue winds down into a short cadenza for the soloist, and then material from the opening two sections is recapitulated in abbreviated form. The music builds to a final climax.
The percussion part avoids exotic or unusual instruments, favouring basic equipment found in most school music departments with an active instrumental programme. The only tuned percussion instrument is a xylophone, with the remainder being a mix of wood, skin and metal instruments.