October 17, 2005
I’ve been getting a few requests lately for recordings and scores of the Percussion Concerto, so I’ve gone ahead and just posted a few new things.
First up is the recording of Damien Bassman’s performance of it in 2003 with the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphony. I wrote the concerto for Damien, and although he wasn’t able to give the premiere, once he did get hold of it, he tore it up, if you will. He played the piece again in 2004, then with the Binghamton Symphony in New York, under the baton of Jose-Luis Novo. Jose-Luis recently did the piece again, this time with the Tallahassee Symphony, with John Parks as soloist. I haven’t heard the recording of that performance yet, but I’m looking forward to it. I heard great things, even if the local Tallahassee critic hated it. (“Brash and empty.” Buddy, the last movement is called “Steady Rock.” It’s supposed to be orchestral rock music with the drummer front and center playing timpani instead of a trap set. Of course it’s brash and empty. It’s not like the concerto is subtitled “Yearning Poems of Pain and Despair.” It’s friggin’ Steady Rock. It’s fun and exciting and loud, and that’s all it was supposed to be. But I digress.)
The concerto is several years old — written in 2000 on commission from the New York Youth Symphony — so it’s a bit different than what I might write now, but if you’re curious, check it out — especially if you’re a percussionist. In addition to posting Damien’s performance, I posted the solo part, so feel free to play along, even if it’s just air-drumming…