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Odyssey

multi-percussion solo with 6 percussionists
Composer: Jay Kennedy
Publisher: Innovative Percussion, Inc.
Instrumentation: 7 suspended cymbals (graduated), 4 small gongs(graduated), small and large Zil bells, 4 concert toms(10"-16"), 2 bongos, piccolo snare drum, 2 small shakers, waterphone w/ bow, vibraphone, bodhran, talking drum, daka-de-bello, 2 tambourines w/ head, tambourine, concert bass drum, set of 4 timpani, xylophone, bells, rain stick, large wind chimes, surdo, 5 pair of plastic golf club tubes(1 pr as is, 14", 19", 24" 29"), 4 tom-toms (low, med, med, high), 2 wind wands, 4 wood blocks, sogo, marimba, 2 snare drums, 2 triangles, 4 brake drums, 4 pitched aluminum pipes, pu ili sticks, hi-hat, dumbek, tam tam, slapstick, cabasa, maracas, high pitched conga drum, djembe, mark tree, drum set bass drum w/ pedal, 2 gourd shakers, 2 wind wands, ocean drum, sizzle cymbal, sleigh bells, finger cymbals, cowbell

Program Notes:
The initial stimulus for Odyssey was a series of paintings, primarily done by painters from the Northwest United States. I had viewed these paintings over a period of about three years and some of them had a lasting impact on me. This piece reflects a vivid and inaccurate memory of some of those paintings. Movements 1 and 3 combine somewhat quirky observations of two paintings with loose interpretations of dance rhythms.

Review:
"Odyssey is a concerto for multiple percussion soloist and percussion sextet in four movements with fanciful titles--"Games in the Hills," "The Dream of Menelaus," "Aunt Olga Does a War Dance" and "Seven Builders"--whose inspiration, the composer informs us, "was a series of paintings, primarily done by painters from the Northwest United States." Kennedy calls upon a large and world-wide inventory of instruments, including unusual and exotic items such as plastic golf tubes, "wind wands," dumbek, jembe, sogo, ocean drum, talking drums, "Woodstock" (Partch) chimes, surdo and pu ili sticks. (Suggestions for possible instrument substitutes are provided.) The soloist confronts a large setup that also includes exotic items such as waterphone, bodhran, daka-de- bello (six-tone slit drums) and squeeze drum. The first movement begins with a mélange of metallic sonorities created by the soloist using gongs and suspended cymbals, and features some ashy tom-tom and bongo work and extended bodhran solos interspersed with foot stomps. The short, contrasting second movement is metrically free, showing off the subtle timbres of bowed cymbals, waterphone and vibes, and ending with an unaccompanied vibe solo. The third movement features ethnic instruments (surdo, sogo, squeeze drum, dumbek, jembe and caxixis). In the final movement, the soloist has ample opportunities for virtuoso displays and improvisation. The listener will nd the music filled with variety and imagination. It will be an equally rewarding experience for soloist and ensemble." - John R. Raush Percussive Notes, June 1997

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