Triskaidekaphobia for percussion trio
Publisher: C. Alan Publications (2012)
Composed: 2012
Duration: 2’13”
Difficulty: Medium
Instrumentation (3 players): four concert toms, bongos, snare drum, field drum, djembe, drumset bass drum, hi-hat, crash cymbal, china cymbal

Triskaidekaphobia is the fear of the number 13. Despite the perceived triviality of that phobia, you might notice that there is no 13th row on most airplanes and no 13th floor in many hotels – well, there actually are, but they are labeled as row or floor 14 just to make us all comfortable. Since a few of my close family members enjoy birthdays on the 13th of a month, our family is fortunate not to suffer from triskaidekaphobia. In tribute to all those who cast off unusual fears and superstitions, this work for 13 instruments and featuring 13 pulses in every pair of measures is an exciting and energetic look at the number 13. After opening with an aggressive unison statement, each member of the trio is briefly featured as the piece alternates between shifting ostinato accompaniments and forceful ensemble figures. The opening phrase is restated again at the conclusion of the work with a final exclamatory impact at exactly 2 minutes and 13 seconds. Triskaidekaphobia was premiered by the composer and two of his students on the 7th day of June (yes, the 6th month and 6+7=13) in 2012.

This piece is well written, enjoyable to listen to, and provides a wealth of educational opportunities for students. – John Willmarth
Printed by permission of the Percussive Arts Society, inc.