sculpture by Regardt van der Meulen

drum circle

for percussion quartet
duration: 6'
first performance: 18 September 2002; Capitol, Stockholm, Sweden; Kroumata
availability: unavailable
recording: non-commercial
detailed orchestration: I=med susp.cym/7” tom/bongos/wbl; II=tam/10” tom/tabla or sm. djmb/xyl; III=BD/large susp.cym/13” tom/ lg.djembe/lg. tbl/mar; IV=4 or 5 timp/16” tom/ log drum/conga

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From a technical standpoint, Drum Circle is about the transformation of range and sound from one group of instruments to another. The piece begins with mostly unpitched, membranophones (the timpani is the exception, as it plays a small, five note motive that is repeated throughout the piece), and then moves on to a substantial section in which hand drums take over. From these drums, wooden percussion instruments are introduced (wood block, temple block, and log drum) from which the xylophone emerges. Once the xylophone is established, the marimba joins in, and over the course of two other movements that have never been written, vibraphone, crotales, steel drums, other metal instruments, and eventually a drum set would gradually appear.