Pads in Isolation

Pads in Isolation for practice pad quartet
Publisher: Gottry Publications (2020)
Composed: 2020
Duration: 2′
Difficulty: Medium

With the outbreak of COVID-19, percussion students worldwide found themselves without regular ensemble rehearsals that were part of their daily lives. Complicating issues further, many of these individuals faced restricted access to instruments as well, perhaps only left with a pair of sticks and a practice pad. Pads in Isolation was composed with the idea to facilitate virtual student ensembles: find four friends that each have a pair of sticks and a practice pad, assign each player to a part, create individual video or audio recordings of each part using the click track in headphones, then piece the parts together into an ensemble using your favorite video or audio editing software. Even as the present reality of social isolation passes into history, it is my hope that this publication will continue to be used as an opportunity to blend music making with technology. That may be through virtual ensemble recordings, as was the initial intent, but also could be in live performance settings that explore spacing between players (e.g., in four corners of an auditorium) that would otherwise be impractical without a click track. Practice pads may also be replaced, as determined suitable, with any four drums.

Notes below the line are played on the pad as normal. Notes above the line with an “x” shaped note head are played as stick clicks. All rolls should be buzzed (multiple bounce roll) with a sixteenth-note pulse. Notes marked with a staccato and “z” should be played as a short, one-handed, press/buzz stroke.

Gottry uses staggered entrances and dynamic contrast as well as standard snare drum techniques such as stick clicks, multiple-bounce rolls, and buzz strokes to create interest throughout the work … [It could] work as an introduction to audio and video recording and editing, with the final product then being played at an ensemble concert … [or] as a short overture for a percussion ensemble concert, or as a solo-and-ensemble piece. – Brian Nozny
Printed by permission of the Percussive Arts Society, inc.