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RE: DISASTER

concert tom quintet
Composer: Susan Powell
Publisher: Innovative Percussion, Inc.
Instrumentation: 5 concert toms of varying pitch

Program Notes:
This piece was inspired by a memo sent to Eastman School of Music percussion students by Professor John Beck. It read, "Responsibility is the key factor to being successful-without it....DISASTER." Within the piece, a "planned" disaster occurs, but as is usually the case, everything ends successfully.

Review:
Dedicated to John H. Beck and inspired by a memo from Beck to his Eastman percussion students, “Re: Disaster” is a percussion quintet scored for five tom-toms (graduated in pitch) and is theatrical in its presentation. Composer Susan Powell suggests that the composition be memorized for performance, and at times she instructs the performers to have their heads turned down, up, to the left or right, or forward. There is also a section within this five-minute composition in which each performer can improvise. Metered in cut-time and notated as half-note equals 96–112, “Re: Disaster” maintains the same driving rhythmic feel throughout its presentation. Beck’s memo read: “Responsibility is the key factor to being successful— without it…DISASTER.” The improvisation section—with the five performers instructed to “improvise out of time for an indeterminate period”—provides the tongue-in-cheek “disaster,” which then returns to organized ensemble drumming. When performed well, “Re: Disaster” will be entertaining to performers and audience. —Jim Lambert Percussive Notes, December 2005

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