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For improvising piano and percussion, Napier's Bones was written for the outstanding improvising pianist Judy Bailey and exists in two formats - one involving 24 percussionists and the other involving 6 virtuoso percussionists.
"The New Zealand work which evoked a similarly strong reaction was Gillian Whitehead's Napier's Bones whose protracted time-frame of beautifully controlled percussive and pianistic gestures was music from another sphere - an utterly compelling experience of the type I am always looking for in contemporary music." (de Castro-Robinson).
Commissioned by Judy Bailey with funding assistance from the Australia Council