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City Museum (Download)

duet for percussion
Level: Med-Advanced
Duration: 12:00
Personnel: 2 players
Release Date: 2011
Product ID : TSPCD-11DL
Price: $29.00
Item #: TSPCD-11DL

Formats Available:


Description

City Museum by Ben Justis is a programmatic work for two percussionists depicting a trip to the famous City Museum in St. Louis, Missouri.

From the composer's words...

"I was taken to City Museum just outside of St. Louis, Missouri, many times when I was growing up. There I’'d see huge planes hoisted into the air, a labyrinth of spooky caves, weird artifacts of Americana, giant whales, and even a school bus stuck on the roof. City Museum remains just as awe-inspiring today as it was those many years ago. This piece is a musical reflection of the different areas within the museum designed to transport listeners to my favorite place on Earth."

This duet gives two intermediate to advanced players the opportunity to shine and tell a story through percussion. A total of seven sections transport the listener from the museum's entrance to the deeper, more mysterious places inside. Lots of variety and some not-to-be-understated technical demands make City Museum an attractive piece for the players and an easy sell to concert goers.

Instrumentation

  • Vibraphone (with motor)
  • Marimba—low C
  • Timpano
  • Large tam tam
  • Drums (3 tom toms)
  • Cymbals (sizzle cymbal, China cymbal, hi-hat)
  • Accessories (water bucket, trash can, or assorted metallics)

Reviews

This program music attempts to depict the St. Louis City Museum, which is a sort of artist-created funhouse, meets amusement park, meets the monolithic yard sculpture built by the neighborhood oddity from a backyard junk collection.

Structurally, this 12-minute multiple percussion duet is a collection of fragments in which sections of rhythmically active material are separated by slower and less rhythmically active sections, or ruptured by caesura.  While this composition may depict the surreal juxtapositions and distracted visual environment of the St. Louis City Museum, it also leaves the listener with a similar sense of disorientation and dislocation.  As with the actual place depicted, this composition also fails to create a cohesive experience; rather, it provides a meandering diversion for the shortened attention span.

The work utilizes numerous time signatures, simple duple rhythms, and ostinati.  There is a single system of proportional notation and 16 measures that require improvisation on non-pitched instruments.  The marimba part requires four-mallet technique, and the vibraphone part requires extended techniques such as bowing and pitch bending.  The water bucket is used to generate the sound of water drops during the section of proportional notation; in certain performance spaces amplification may be required.

The score includes program and performance notes, a brief biography of the composer, an instrument list, and a setup diagram.  Parts can be printed from the included CD, which also contains an audio recording of the entire work in mp3 format.  The audio example of the work is of questionable quality (both in terms of performance and production), but will be a useable reference for less experienced performers.

–Ron Coulter
Percussive Notes 
Vol. 50, No. 4, July 2012

Description

City Museum by Ben Justis is a programmatic work for two percussionists depicting a trip to the famous City Museum in St. Louis, Missouri.

From the composer's words...

"I was taken to City Museum just outside of St. Louis, Missouri, many times when I was growing up. There I’'d see huge planes hoisted into the air, a labyrinth of spooky caves, weird artifacts of Americana, giant whales, and even a school bus stuck on the roof. City Museum remains just as awe-inspiring today as it was those many years ago. This piece is a musical reflection of the different areas within the museum designed to transport listeners to my favorite place on Earth."

This duet gives two intermediate to advanced players the opportunity to shine and tell a story through percussion. A total of seven sections transport the listener from the museum's entrance to the deeper, more mysterious places inside. Lots of variety and some not-to-be-understated technical demands make City Museum an attractive piece for the players and an easy sell to concert goers.

Instrumentation

  • Vibraphone (with motor)
  • Marimba—low C
  • Timpano
  • Large tam tam
  • Drums (3 tom toms)
  • Cymbals (sizzle cymbal, China cymbal, hi-hat)
  • Accessories (water bucket, trash can, or assorted metallics)

Reviews

This program music attempts to depict the St. Louis City Museum, which is a sort of artist-created funhouse, meets amusement park, meets the monolithic yard sculpture built by the neighborhood oddity from a backyard junk collection.

Structurally, this 12-minute multiple percussion duet is a collection of fragments in which sections of rhythmically active material are separated by slower and less rhythmically active sections, or ruptured by caesura.  While this composition may depict the surreal juxtapositions and distracted visual environment of the St. Louis City Museum, it also leaves the listener with a similar sense of disorientation and dislocation.  As with the actual place depicted, this composition also fails to create a cohesive experience; rather, it provides a meandering diversion for the shortened attention span.

The work utilizes numerous time signatures, simple duple rhythms, and ostinati.  There is a single system of proportional notation and 16 measures that require improvisation on non-pitched instruments.  The marimba part requires four-mallet technique, and the vibraphone part requires extended techniques such as bowing and pitch bending.  The water bucket is used to generate the sound of water drops during the section of proportional notation; in certain performance spaces amplification may be required.

The score includes program and performance notes, a brief biography of the composer, an instrument list, and a setup diagram.  Parts can be printed from the included CD, which also contains an audio recording of the entire work in mp3 format.  The audio example of the work is of questionable quality (both in terms of performance and production), but will be a useable reference for less experienced performers.

–Ron Coulter
Percussive Notes 
Vol. 50, No. 4, July 2012


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