by Clif Walker
Instrumentation: Crotales (F#, G, A), Glockenspiel, Chimes, 2 vibraphones, Xylophone, 4 marimbas—(1) low A, (1) low F, (1) low E, (1) low C, 4-5 timpani, Piano, Synthesizer, Drums (6 large drums, 6 medium drums, 6 small drums, concert bass drum), Cymbals & gongs (6 “stacked” cymbals, 1 pair crash cymbals, suspended cymbal, ride cymbal w/ sizzle attachment, sizzle cymbal, tam-tam), Accessories (6 pairs finger cymbals, sandpaper blocks, 2 wooden clackers (i.e. ching-chok, tang-tangs, or anklung), 2 Meinl birds (substitute goat hoove rattles or bamboo windchimes), claves, triangle, patio chimes, temple blocks, nightingale whistle, audubon bird call,, 2 rainsticks, mark tree, slapstick)
Clif Walker‘s expansive and brilliant piece Treehouses was inspired by a backyard treehouse project that he was working on at the same time he was composing this piece. Both projects seemed intertwined and were amalgams of varied materials and ideas which came about as the projects unfolded. Both are places of discovery where kids can play
Utilizing a large array for percussion orchestra, piano, and synthesizer, various natural sounds such as bird calls, organic wooden effects, and leafy bundle rods are used to embellish the modern sonorities. Six performers serve as a focal point throughout in “pod” configurations, each with three drums, stacked cymbals, and wood textures throughout (rims, bundled sticks, etc.) serving as highlighted branches to the foundation of the piece. These pods use advanced, deliberate stickings, emphasizing that they are to be enjoyed visually as well as musically.
Treehouses was commissioned by Joe Hobbs and the Vandegrift High School Percussion Ensemble (Austin, Texas) for the 2017 Midwest Clinic.
This piece comes as a full, bound score (10.5” x 14”) with a color cover and includes an online download code to access individual parts for printing.