In the Valley of the Kings
Composer: Kevin Erickson
Publisher: Innovative Percussion, Inc.
This piece was written expressly for the 1998 Percussive Arts Society Composition Contest in which it was awarded Second Prize Winner. To the performer: The intent of the piece is to provide the performer with a vehicle for exploring the timpani as a melodic instrument, while at the same time allowing much room for developing musicality and performance skills. At the same time it was important to me that the piece be accessible to the listener, so that at times they may forget that they are listening to a set of drums (same for the performer as well!!). I mean, how often does one walk away from a percussion recital humming themes from a timpani solo, right? I would hope that the performer would strive to achieve every bit of color, nuance, and expression that one would put into a solo marimba work. The idea for the piece came about from a fascination with ancient Egyptian culture and artifacts that dates back to my childhood, hence the title of the piece and its movements. I view the piece as three settings, in contrasting styles, based upon particular impressions I have developed in my mind over the years.
"This is a creative solo for four timpani written in three movements, each of which has references to Indian music and textures. In addition to normal stroke techniques, additional (and unusual) approaches including playing on the bowls, in the center of the heads and clicking the mallets together. Special effects include fingertip rolls (a la tabla performance), one-handed brush rolls, pedal tremelos and glissandi. The first movement is short, being just 28 measures. Even though it is written in common time, there are measures with rhythmic flourishes with the knuckles on the bowls. Movement 2 is a march that has a loose ABCAB form. The final movement opens with a stately rubato introduction that leads to a fast toccata with rhythmic syncopation and meter changes. This interesting solo was the second place winner in the PAS Composition Contest." - George Frock Percussive Notes, December 1999
J. Frank Dobie High School/Independent Performer/Composer