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Topic: Percussion Ensemble Demo - "Katraterra"

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  1. #1

    Percussion Ensemble Demo - "Katraterra"

    I was commissioned to write this piece a couple years ago by a group in Texas. With the help from my friend Bill Castillo, I've finally gotten around to getting it sequenced all with sounds from Virtual Drumline 2 (minus log drums). There are still plenty of things I'd like to improve in the recording, but I thought I'd share it with the good folks here. Any feedback on the production quality is certainly welcome. Be nice - as with most of my projects, it's still a work in progress.

    KATRATERRA
    Jim Casella
    Tapspace

  2. #2
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: Percussion Ensemble Demo - "Katraterra"

    It's about time someone posts a Percussion Ensemble Piece! Love it! An exciting weld of melodic percussion instruments highlighted perfectly in symmetry! Grooves totally with excellent form, meter, and pulse. What a treat! This made my day!
    A work in progress, eh? Ha! Excellent, I could listen to your work all day.
    Styxx

  3. #3
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Re: Percussion Ensemble Demo - "Katraterra"

    Virtual Drumline 2. This is new to me. How well would this perform on a P4 2.66 speed, 2 gig ram PC?
    Styxx

  4. #4

    Re: Percussion Ensemble Demo - "Katraterra"

    Nice!

    Best,
    Jay

  5. #5

    Re: Percussion Ensemble Demo - "Katraterra"

    Thanks guys! Styxx - a 2.66ghz P4 with 2gb RAM should work very well for VDL2. Its largest instruments are actually from the marching drumline stuff which have a pretty huge array of articulations mapped up to 7 octaves or so. But the concert percussion instruments are significantly smaller. There are also "lite" instruments that do the job very well in cases where RAM might get low, but with 2gb, that should be more than plenty for most projects.
    Jim Casella
    Tapspace

  6. #6

    Re: Percussion Ensemble Demo - "Katraterra"

    Jim,

    This is a rollicking 5/4 groove with some brief solos on top. The opening wood instruments after the triangle intro (xylophone and marimba?) remind me of Steve Reich's music with a floating pulse groove. At other points it seems like Take 5 for percussionists (complete with Joe Morello drum solo!)

    Sections of it seem rigid (almost like a loop) as if quantitized. A bit too "in the pocket". This can ruin the effect of any flam and reduce it to a single hit. More suitable for a dance beat than a percussion ensemble. Are there any tempo changes? Minor tempo fluctuations in this piece could give it a looser feeling, but that may not be what you want. The crescendos might be more effective with slight tempo changes.

    A resonant marimba might produce more warmth and color in the rolls. I'm not sure whether there is both a marimba and a xylophone in this.

    I dig the groove, the energy, and the dynamics.

    Joe Morello would like it.

    I think a percussion ensemble would love playing this.

    Marko

  7. #7
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: Percussion Ensemble Demo - "Katraterra"

    Thanks Jim The price is right and I will give it a go! Awesome percussion piece. Brings me back to my college days studying with Jan Williams and being a part of the college percussion ensemble. Boy do I miss those days!
    Styxx

  8. #8

    Re: Percussion Ensemble Demo - "Katraterra"

    Thanks again for the feedback guys! Styxx - yes VDL2 is definitely suited for those of us who've gone through the system of academia in percussion performance. I studied with Tony Cirone, and often wish I could transport myself back to those good ol' days.

    Marko - thanks for all the constructive feedback. Very true about the tempo stagnation. I've added some subtle fluctuations to the tempo track to hopefully help it breath a bit more. There is indeed both Xylo and Marimba (two marimbas) on this. One marimba is rosewood, while the other uses synthetic bars (which tend to have a little more glassy resonance). So they may be melding together a bit more than they would in real life. The xylophone uses synththetic bars with a medium-dark mallet (to help it blend with marimbas a bit).

    It weaves in and out of 5/8 and 3/4 pretty regularly, so it may actually be more fun to play than to conduct! Thanks again for the comments. Much appreciated as I try to continue to dial this in.
    Jim Casella
    Tapspace

  9. #9
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Re: Percussion Ensemble Demo - "Katraterra"

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Casella
    Thanks again for the feedback guys! Styxx - yes VDL2 is definitely suited for those of us who've gone through the system of academia in percussion performance. I studied with Tony Cirone, and often wish I could transport myself back to those good ol' days.
    "The" Anthony J. Cirone, percussionist with the San Francisco Symphony also author of "Portraits in Rhythm"? Didn't he re-arrange the 12 classic etudes from the original Portraits in Rhythm for drumset? If I memory serves correctly he performed under the baton of some very famous influential conductors / composers some of which comes to mind Michael Tilson Thomas, Leonard Bernstein, Igor Stravinsky, Aaron Copland, Eugene Ormandy, Kurt Mazur, Rafael Kubelik, and James Levine. I believe Jan Williams and Anthony Miranda are very good friends of Mr. Cirone. Do you have any idea where he teaches now or is he retired or?
    Styxx

  10. #10
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Re: Percussion Ensemble Demo - "Katraterra"

    Ha! I did a search for Professor Cirone and came up with almost exactly what I remembered. From the Indiana University School Of Music web site;
    “Anthony J. Cirone
    Professor of Music, School of Music
    Chair, Department of Percussion
    Education:
    M.S. , The Juilliard School, 1965
    B.S. , The Juilliard School, 1964
    Anthony J. Cirone was a percussionist with the San Francisco Symphony from 1965 to 2001, and has performed under the batons of Josef Krips, Seiji Ozawa, Edo DeWaart, Herbert Blomstedt, Michael Tilson Thomas, Leonard Bernstein, Igor Stravinsky, Aaron Copland, Eugene Ormandy, Kurt Mazur, Rafael Kubelik, and James Levine.
    Professor Cirone is a former faculty member and conductor of the percussion ensemble at San José State University, (1965-2001), and Stanford University (1983-1992). He has more than 70 published works, including three symphonies for percussion, four sonatas, a string quartet, orchestral works, textbooks, and Portraits in Rhythm for Snare Drum, used worldwide. Professor Cirone was honored with the Special Distinction Award from ASCAP for Pentadic Striations for Orchestra in 1999 and has acted as percussion consultant/editor for Warner Brothers Publishing Co and as a clinician for Avedis Zildjian Cymbal Company and the Yamaha Corporation.”
    Styxx

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