MurmurationsMurmurations
Click to enlarge

More images

Click to enlarge

Purchase

Murmurations

for percussion trio, two pianos, and video
Level: Advanced
Duration: 6:30
Personnel: 3-5 Players
State Lists: Florida
Release Date: 2022
Product ID : TSPCE22-028
Price: $42.00
Item #: TSPCE22-028

Formats Available:


Description

Murmurations by Adam Bruce is an illustrative percussion trio mimicking the flocking patterns of starlings through a variety on sonic palettes, including the mix of three snare drum sizes and tunings, a shared concert bass drum, and various percussive implements. The snare and bass drums often feature rhythmic and dynamic figures that are offset by very small amounts of time, offering the illusion of an ever-changing swarm of birds. Throughout the work the performers are required to transcend traditional hurdles of chops and dexterity with the added responsibilities of advanced musical shaping and coordination.

In the middle of the piece, the percussionists are provided the opportunity to freely interpret what they are viewing during the video playback. This is an excellent chance to provide audience members and performers with an immersive and spontaneous musical experience.

Murmurations can be performed with the addition of two live pianos performers or with the included piano accompaniment track. Three versions are available: 1) Both pianos mixed, 2) Piano 1 only, and 3) Piano 2 only. Each accompaniment track also includes a click track for all performers.

Murmurations ships as a printed, professionally bound score and includes individual parts in PDF format for printing or tablet viewing.

Instrumentation

3 snare drums (piccolo, standard, field/deep shell)

3 concert bass drums (or 1 shared drum)

Two pianos*

Projection system (for optional video accompaniment)

*optional; may use provided audio accompaniment in place of live piano part(s)

Reviews

Taking influence from the flying patterns of starling birds, Adam Bruce’s newest percussion trio plays right into the ebbing and flowing nature of these flocking displays. “Murmurations” features three snare drummers, each with a bass drum, along with the option to add two written piano parts. These parts can also be added as an electronic backing track, allowing for multiple options for performance. In addition, Bruce includes an optional video track demonstrating various avian formations to be played during an improvised interlude.

Sharing inspiration from Christopher Deane’s iconic “Vespertine Formations,” Bruce utilizes several similar techniques to help produce shifting sonorities across the drums. Rather than using marimbas, Bruce arranged the work for three sizes of drums: piccolo, snare, and field. Each player also uses a bass drum, but this could be done with one or three bass drums. By delaying entrances and incorporating quicker rhythms and subdivisions, “Murmurations” effectively creates imagery reminiscent of starlings flowing through the sky.

All three percussion parts are uniformly challenging. In the opening, each player rhythmically shifts between triplet diddles, sixteenth notes, and quintuplets. This pattern serves as a main theme to be recalled later. The middle section features an improvised brush passage to emulate the bird patterns that can be visually included in the performance. The final major section incorporates sextuplet patterns that split between the three players a? la bass drum threes.

The piano parts are a little sparser, with occasional patterns that help drive the music forward. Light, lyrical lines float above the rhythmic texture along with punching bass lines that come together to help bring melodic life and character to the piece.

With a performance time of around 61⁄2 minutes, “Murmurations” would be a good addition for an advanced high school or university ensemble, providing a respite away from the traditional flash and flair of percussion works, while also delivering an enjoyable performance with nuance and contours.

—Matthew Geiger
Percussive Notes
Vol. 61, No. 2, April 2023

Description

Murmurations by Adam Bruce is an illustrative percussion trio mimicking the flocking patterns of starlings through a variety on sonic palettes, including the mix of three snare drum sizes and tunings, a shared concert bass drum, and various percussive implements. The snare and bass drums often feature rhythmic and dynamic figures that are offset by very small amounts of time, offering the illusion of an ever-changing swarm of birds. Throughout the work the performers are required to transcend traditional hurdles of chops and dexterity with the added responsibilities of advanced musical shaping and coordination.

In the middle of the piece, the percussionists are provided the opportunity to freely interpret what they are viewing during the video playback. This is an excellent chance to provide audience members and performers with an immersive and spontaneous musical experience.

Murmurations can be performed with the addition of two live pianos performers or with the included piano accompaniment track. Three versions are available: 1) Both pianos mixed, 2) Piano 1 only, and 3) Piano 2 only. Each accompaniment track also includes a click track for all performers.

Murmurations ships as a printed, professionally bound score and includes individual parts in PDF format for printing or tablet viewing.

Instrumentation

3 snare drums (piccolo, standard, field/deep shell)

3 concert bass drums (or 1 shared drum)

Two pianos*

Projection system (for optional video accompaniment)

*optional; may use provided audio accompaniment in place of live piano part(s)

Reviews

Taking influence from the flying patterns of starling birds, Adam Bruce’s newest percussion trio plays right into the ebbing and flowing nature of these flocking displays. “Murmurations” features three snare drummers, each with a bass drum, along with the option to add two written piano parts. These parts can also be added as an electronic backing track, allowing for multiple options for performance. In addition, Bruce includes an optional video track demonstrating various avian formations to be played during an improvised interlude.

Sharing inspiration from Christopher Deane’s iconic “Vespertine Formations,” Bruce utilizes several similar techniques to help produce shifting sonorities across the drums. Rather than using marimbas, Bruce arranged the work for three sizes of drums: piccolo, snare, and field. Each player also uses a bass drum, but this could be done with one or three bass drums. By delaying entrances and incorporating quicker rhythms and subdivisions, “Murmurations” effectively creates imagery reminiscent of starlings flowing through the sky.

All three percussion parts are uniformly challenging. In the opening, each player rhythmically shifts between triplet diddles, sixteenth notes, and quintuplets. This pattern serves as a main theme to be recalled later. The middle section features an improvised brush passage to emulate the bird patterns that can be visually included in the performance. The final major section incorporates sextuplet patterns that split between the three players a? la bass drum threes.

The piano parts are a little sparser, with occasional patterns that help drive the music forward. Light, lyrical lines float above the rhythmic texture along with punching bass lines that come together to help bring melodic life and character to the piece.

With a performance time of around 61⁄2 minutes, “Murmurations” would be a good addition for an advanced high school or university ensemble, providing a respite away from the traditional flash and flair of percussion works, while also delivering an enjoyable performance with nuance and contours.

—Matthew Geiger
Percussive Notes
Vol. 61, No. 2, April 2023


You may also like...

A challenging and modern take on a rudimental classic for advanced snare drum quintet.
Duration: 5:10 | Level: Advanced | Personnel: 5 players
$40.00
With varying harmonic motion, fast rhythmic ideas, and complex time changes, this diverse piece will compliment multiple programming situations.
Duration: 5:40–8:00 | Level: Advanced | Personnel: 4 players
$38.00
This is “Carol of the Bells” as you’ve never experienced it. An inventive percussion ensemble arrangement for 10 players.
Duration: 7:30 | Level: Med-Advanced | Personnel: 10 players
$50.00
A compelling and dynamic percussion ensemble comprised of equal parts bold spirit and gentle restraing led by a featured drumset soloist.
Duration: 5:00 | Level: Med-Advanced | Personnel: 11 players
$49.00
#TAPSPACE