by Clif Walker
Crotales (2 octaves)
4 Marimbas — (2) low A, (2) low C
Steel Drum (lead pan)
Drums — bongos, concert bass drum, concert snare drum, 4 concert toms, congas (2), 4 graduated snare drums (w/ snares off), roto tom
Cymbals & gongs — 2 China cymbals, 2 ride cymbals, sizzle cymbal, 2 suspended cymbals, Zil-bel, tam-tam
Accessories — 2 brake drums, 2 pairs finger cymbals, mark tree (echo tree preferred), slapstick, 5 triangles (w/ water bins), 4 graduated woodblocks
Gravity (Falling) by Clif Walker is a thematic percussion ensemble for fourteen percussionists and pianist. This medium-advanced piece is inspired by the act and sensation of sky diving. Walker notes that a typical skydive lasts between five to six minutes, with approximately the first 50 seconds spent in a free fall and the remainder of the time parachuting down. The piece opens by mimicking the free fall of a skydive with suspenseful cymbal swells and slowly descending, anxiety inducing cluster chords. Walker then segues the listener into serene parachute ride down to earth. Then a mixed meter section with chromatic, scalar, and intervalic descending lines paired with metric modulations in various percussive elements furthers the sense of disorientation. The descent continues until one final cymbal swell lands the skydiver back on the ground.
Gravity (Falling) requires performers to have great rhythmic control throughout the ensemble and would be an excellent piece for intermediate to advanced students to elevate their playing abilities in a percussion ensemble setting. While being a great display of chops and dexterity, this piece also offers subtle nuance for touch and expressivity in the more serene moments. Last, it is sure to be a crowd pleaser with its rich musical imagery and familiar subject matter.
Gravity (Falling) ships as a printed, professionally bound score and includes individual parts in PDF format for printing or tablet viewing.