Gary Gilroy: A Little D 'n A
A Little D 'n A
- Timpani Gong (w/ rattan), Whip [timpani mutes]
- Bells 2 Triangles (one muted w/ duct tape)
- Xylophone Bass Sandpaper Blocks, Suspended Cymbal, Whip
- Vibraphone Suspended Cymbal
- marimba Suspended Cymbal
- Chimes Marimba, Suspended Cymbal, Tenor Sandpaper Blocks
- Percussion 1 [1 Player] Alto Sandpaper Blocks, Bongos, China Cymbal, Very Low Floor Tom, Hi-Hat, Snare Drum, Suspended Cymbal, Ride Cymbal, Vibraslap, Wind Chimes
- Percussion 2 [1 Player] 2 Bass Drums (one muted), China Cymbal, Gong, Piccolo Sandpaper Blocks, Sizzle Cymbal, Splash Cymbal, Suspended Cymbal, Tambourine, Vibraslap, Whip
The main theme of this work is based on the first two pitches of Dr. Darling's last name: "D" and "A". The third note of this motif is "G," the composer's initial for both his first and last name. This motif, simple yet effective, is heard throughout the composition in several key areas. The work celebrates the friendship and mutual respect these two professors have enjoyed together for more than a decade.
The middle of the composition explores the idea of "muted" and "open" sounds from a variety of metallic percussion instruments. The effect is often heard from a triangle in a number of works but in this composition, the technical demands of the muted and open passages are rather extreme. It requires that a small stand is used to suspend the two triangles; one muted with duct tape and the other hanging freely to generate an open sound. The splash cymbal enters next with a new rhythm layering in until the hi-hat and gong each interrupt, 8 and 16 bars later respectively. After all of this muted and open playing creates a nice groove, some of the mallet percussion enters with a new middle section based on D minor blues scale. The xylophone and marimba players each take an 8 bar solo during this time.
The blues section eventually gives way to another transition this time using a series of 4 graduated (piccolo, alto, tenor and bass) sets of sandpaper blocks (arranged stereophonically, please) to bring back the material from the first theme. The work closes with a driving push to the end accentuated by the whip among other percussion instruments.