Some People’s Kids

II. Skipping Stones
I. The Backyard

Some People’s Kids for percussion ensemble
Publisher: C. Alan Publications (2018)
Composed: 2017
Duration: 4’20”
Difficulty: Medium
Instrumentation (8-9 players): bells, xylophone, vibraphone, 4.3-octave marimba, bass guitar (optional), tambourine, tamborim (or bongo), congas, repinique (or timbale), drumset

Some People’s Kids originated as a deal with my children: if they’d each compose a 16-measure melody, I’d use it as the basis for an ensemble composition. Considering what they created, I realized that both could be orchestrated with a similar percussion ensemble size and instrumentation, but each with its own distinctive style: specifically one as a samba batucada and one with a heavy backbeat shuffle. The end result is a pair of groove-based pieces for percussion ensemble. The Backyard has a strong shuffle feel and an unusual phrasing structure with elisions that seem to keep the listener waiting until the end of the form. Skipping Stones is an up-tempo samba batucada featuring rhythmic phrasing in the melody that highlights the underlying partido alto. For concerts or festivals, either piece can be performed independently or the two pieces may presented as a set.