Solo Drum Solo: Call for Scores

I am very passionate about music for the drumset. I think there should be more of it. I have started a project to try to generate some more pieces for drummers to play that are not just “drum solos” in the traditional sense. I want there to be ‘art music’ for the drumset, for lack of a better term. Here is my call for scores. I hope that some of you might be interested. Please let me know!

CALL FOR SCORES: SOLO DRUM SET
Initial first performance in September 2014
Final scores due August 1, 2014, or sooner, if possible.

My aim as a “drummer” who operates in both the jazz/improvised music world and in the classical world, is to expand the repertoire for “classical” drum set. There are many solos written for the drumset in a jazz, rock or latin context; groove-oriented, stylized pieces that do not garner much respect in the ‘legit’ world. My informal research shows that there simply are not many pieces that fit into this other category. Classical percussionists are playing works for marimba, snare drum, timpani, multiple percussion setup and sometimes USING the drumset, but there are very few that are treating it with an equal focus. In real life, a large percentage of gigs require this skill, yet it is being ignored in many of our institutes of learning for percussionists. I think that we need pieces that will force them to consider the drumset equally.  My goal is to collect a number of pieces for solo drumset that are NOT stylized in a jazz, rock or latin context, learn them, perform them, submit them to workshops/conferences and maybe eventually publish a collection of these works. At this time, I cannot offer any monetary compensation. Some options are being explored but there is no guarantee at this time. I can tell you that I will learn them well, and work with composers to help make the work playable, appropriate and suitable to meet my established goals. Also, the percussion world is a very fluid group, and new works can become standard repertoire within years, if not sooner. My hope is that I can spark a movement to develop more music of this kind, so that “classical” percussionists are encouraged to play more drumset, and so that the drumset is more accepted as a viable instrument in the percussion world. Whether the composer deals in percussion regularly, or has never tried to write for the drumset before, I think different voice and ideas will make for interesting pieces for this medium. I am asking that composers consider this possibility and hopefully contribute a piece to this project.  

CONSIDERATIONS:

-pieces can range from 0-10 minutes in length

-start with the setup of a traditional drumset: snare drum, bass drum, two tomtoms, two cymbals and hi hat. You can add more, use less, but that should be the starting point. Using tons of tomtoms for melody, for example, tends to push this more into the ‘multiple percussion’ arena. Use of electronics is acceptable as well.

-Basic notation should be codified and agreed upon in relation to what is already established in the drumset/percussion world. Alternative methods of notation (e.g. graphic notation, etc) are welcomed, but when tending to “usual” methods, we should try to stay consistent.  

I am more than open to questions and communication about these pieces/ideas. Please contact me at aaronstaebellmusic@gmail.com if you have any questions. I plan on premiering these compositions in September at the Rochester Fringe Festival. If you are interested, please get in touch ASAP!

*** Let me know, and please forward this to anyone who you think may be interested!

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