A Bird Sings
for percussion ensemble. Composed by Peter Erskine
Dedicated to the memory of John Wyre
“The bird does not sing because it has an answer — it sings because it has a song.”
Premiered at the University of Maryland Summer Percussion Workshop July 2007 featuring She-e Wu on solo marimba (Marimba 1), with Alan Abel, John Tafoya, Peter Erskine, et al
Scored for 7 players : Player I. Marimba 1 (5 octave); Player II. Marimba 2 (5 octave) + Temple Blocks (5); Player III. Vibraphone (w/ motor); Player IV. Chimes / Xylophone / Glockenspiel; Player V. 4 Timpani & 2 Concert Bass Drums; Player VI. Small Gong (tuned to “G”), Large Gong, Triangle, 2 Tuned Bells (Bb + D) & Piatti; Player VII. Drumset & shaker
This recording was done at The Bridge Studio in Los Angeles with Wade Culbreath performing ALL of the percussion parts (while I play the drumset). We positioned all of the ensemble instruments as a concert set-up on the soundstage in order to create and maintain a true concert sound and feel — ambience — for the recording. This is the definitive performance of this piece. This is also a definitive percussion recording. Wade’s playing is remarkable and it makes for a perfect study in how musical and well-rounded a percussionist can and should be. Bravo, Wade! The recording was engineered and mixed by Grammy honoree Rich Breen.