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Treehouses

for percussion ensemble
Level: Advanced
Duration: 5:30
Personnel: 20 players
Release Date: 2019
Product ID : TSPCE19-028
Price: $48.00
Item #: TSPCE19-028

Formats Available:


Description

Clif Walker‘s expansive and brilliant piece Treehouses was inspired by a backyard treehouse project that he was working on at the same time he was composing this piece. Both projects seemed intertwined and were amalgams of varied materials and ideas which came about as the projects unfolded. Both are places of discovery where kids can play

Utilizing a large array for percussion orchestra, piano, and synthesizer, various natural sounds such as bird calls, organic wooden effects, and leafy bundle rods are used to embellish the modern sonorities. Six performers serve as a focal point throughout in “pod” configurations, each with three drums, stacked cymbals, and wood textures throughout (rims, bundled sticks, etc.) serving as highlighted branches to the foundation of the piece. These pods use advanced, deliberate stickings, emphasizing that they are to be enjoyed visually as well as musically.

Treehouses
was commissioned by Joe Hobbs and the Vandegrift High School Percussion Ensemble (Austin, Texas) for the 2017 Midwest Clinic.

This piece comes as a professionally printed and bound score (10.5” x 14”) and includes individual parts in PDF format for printing or for tablet viewing.




Instrumentation

• Crotales (F#, G, A)

Glockenspiel

• Chimes

• 2 vibraphones

• Xylophone

• 4 marimbas—(1) low A, (1) low F,  (1) low E, (1) low C

4-5 timpani

• Piano

• Synthesizer

Drums (6 large drums, 6 medium drums, 6 small drums, concert bass drum)

Cymbals & gongs (6 “stacked” cymbals, 1 pair crash cymbals, suspended cymbal, ride cymbal w/ sizzle attachment, sizzle cymbal, tam-tam)

Accessories (6 pairs finger cymbals, sandpaper blocks, 2 wooden clackers (i.e. ching-chok, tang-tangs, or anklung), 2 Meinl birds (substitute goat hoove rattles or bamboo windchimes), claves, triangle, patio chimes, temple blocks, nightingale whistle, audubon bird call,, 2 rainsticks, mark tree, slapstick)

Reviews

According to the composer, “Treehouses” was inspired by starting a treehouse building project with his son the day after receiving the green light for the commission. He states, “Both projects seemed intertwined and are amalgams of varied materials and ideas which came about as the projects unfolded. Both are places of discovery where kids can play.” “Treehouses” presents a beautiful sonic landscape that envelopes the listener.

One of the potential difficulties with performing this piece is the massive amount of equipment needed to perform it. The piece requires 6 pairs of stacked cymbals, 6 pairs of finger cymbals, 18 drums, 4 marimbas, and a synthesizer, as well as specialized sound effects like multiple wooden clackers and bird whistles. However, large programs likely are equipped with most or all of this, especially an established high school marching or indoor percussion program.

If the program has the gear and programs this work, however, they will not regret it. There are so many great ensemble skills to be honed through unison passages, rhythmic figures passing around the ensemble, and the general effect of 20 players performing in tandem. “Treehouses” would fit perfectly as a concert closer for a large, advanced high school or university percussion ensemble. The sheer impact of 20 players coming together to present such an aural experience would be hard to follow on any program.

—Justin Bunting
Percussive Notes 
Vol. 58, No. 2, April 2020

Description

Clif Walker‘s expansive and brilliant piece Treehouses was inspired by a backyard treehouse project that he was working on at the same time he was composing this piece. Both projects seemed intertwined and were amalgams of varied materials and ideas which came about as the projects unfolded. Both are places of discovery where kids can play

Utilizing a large array for percussion orchestra, piano, and synthesizer, various natural sounds such as bird calls, organic wooden effects, and leafy bundle rods are used to embellish the modern sonorities. Six performers serve as a focal point throughout in “pod” configurations, each with three drums, stacked cymbals, and wood textures throughout (rims, bundled sticks, etc.) serving as highlighted branches to the foundation of the piece. These pods use advanced, deliberate stickings, emphasizing that they are to be enjoyed visually as well as musically.

Treehouses
was commissioned by Joe Hobbs and the Vandegrift High School Percussion Ensemble (Austin, Texas) for the 2017 Midwest Clinic.

This piece comes as a professionally printed and bound score (10.5” x 14”) and includes individual parts in PDF format for printing or for tablet viewing.




Instrumentation

• Crotales (F#, G, A)

Glockenspiel

• Chimes

• 2 vibraphones

• Xylophone

• 4 marimbas—(1) low A, (1) low F,  (1) low E, (1) low C

4-5 timpani

• Piano

• Synthesizer

Drums (6 large drums, 6 medium drums, 6 small drums, concert bass drum)

Cymbals & gongs (6 “stacked” cymbals, 1 pair crash cymbals, suspended cymbal, ride cymbal w/ sizzle attachment, sizzle cymbal, tam-tam)

Accessories (6 pairs finger cymbals, sandpaper blocks, 2 wooden clackers (i.e. ching-chok, tang-tangs, or anklung), 2 Meinl birds (substitute goat hoove rattles or bamboo windchimes), claves, triangle, patio chimes, temple blocks, nightingale whistle, audubon bird call,, 2 rainsticks, mark tree, slapstick)

Reviews

According to the composer, “Treehouses” was inspired by starting a treehouse building project with his son the day after receiving the green light for the commission. He states, “Both projects seemed intertwined and are amalgams of varied materials and ideas which came about as the projects unfolded. Both are places of discovery where kids can play.” “Treehouses” presents a beautiful sonic landscape that envelopes the listener.

One of the potential difficulties with performing this piece is the massive amount of equipment needed to perform it. The piece requires 6 pairs of stacked cymbals, 6 pairs of finger cymbals, 18 drums, 4 marimbas, and a synthesizer, as well as specialized sound effects like multiple wooden clackers and bird whistles. However, large programs likely are equipped with most or all of this, especially an established high school marching or indoor percussion program.

If the program has the gear and programs this work, however, they will not regret it. There are so many great ensemble skills to be honed through unison passages, rhythmic figures passing around the ensemble, and the general effect of 20 players performing in tandem. “Treehouses” would fit perfectly as a concert closer for a large, advanced high school or university percussion ensemble. The sheer impact of 20 players coming together to present such an aural experience would be hard to follow on any program.

—Justin Bunting
Percussive Notes 
Vol. 58, No. 2, April 2020



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