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Damaged Goods

percussion sextet
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Composer: Brett Dietz
Publisher: Innovative Percussion, Inc.
Instrumentation: crash cymbal, ride cymbal, china cymbal, hi-hat, high & low splash cymbal, low-medium-high tom, snare drum, high & low kick drum, low-medium-high metal, low-medium-high wood, high & low maracas, high & low afuce, high & low sand paper, high & low tam tam, high & low wind gong, & high & low opera gong

Program Notes:
Damaged Goods for percussion ensemble was commissioned by and dedicated to Chad Heiny and the Kiski Area High School Percussion Ensemble (Vandergrift, PA). The entire composition was written in an Opera District café in Paris. The piece's structure utilizes a variation of themes drawn from rhythmic permutations.

"This percussion ensemble for six players was commissioned by the Kiski High School Percussion Ensemble under the direction of Chad R. Heiny. Instrumentation consists of non-pitched percussion and found or constructed metal/wood sounds. Each player has a similar instrumental setup of six instruments: a cymbal (crash, hi-hat, ride, splash), a drum (from high tom-tom to low kick drum), a set of metal or wood pairs (unspecified), a scraping/shaking instrument (maraca, afuce, or sandpaper), and a gong (a mix of tam-tams, opera gongs, and wind gongs). Mixed meter and syncopated rhythms dominate the structure, while the ensemble texture moves in “choirs” of metal, wood, scraping/shaking, or drums. Abrasive and terrifying moments—ffff unison gong accents—are juxtaposed against delicate scraping/shaking passages with intricate rhythmic patterns of triplets and quintuplets.

All parts are equal in difficulty, providing technical and ensemble challenges for each player. The duration of the piece is relatively short, allowing plenty of rehearsal time to work out some of the more difficult rhythmic issues. Whenever unspecified instrumental sounds are introduced—for instance, metals (high, medium, low) and woods (high, medium, and low)—the selection of said sounds becomes part of the learning/design process. Care should be taken in selecting good/unique/interesting sounds, or perhaps unusual or found sounds.

“Damaged Goods” would be appropriate for an advanced high school ensemble or a young undergraduate percussion group." — John Lane Percussive Notes, May 2010

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