Only a 35 year work anniversary


So Linked In reminded me this week that my independent business had been going for 35 years and thank you for all those that passed a comment or gave the thumbs up. This is one anniversary I had not thought about celebrating although a 40 or 50 year party could be on the cards and I plan to keep going far longer than that.

All those years ago I published three collections of music, the first works in a catalogue that now contains over 300 books/collections/tutors/ensembles/suites…, and the standard of the product has changed from a stapled assembly of A3 photocopies to a card covered/wire bound printed book to an illustrated and only downloadable PDF.

My pricing policy has changed according to the manufacture with the initial products being near cost before I introduced a more structured process for the more substantially manufactured items and more recently back to a more reasonable price range now that the manufacturing costs are no longer part of the reckoning although distribution is still a factor in the final price. I have had a number of comments about how cheap some of the pricing is and in general I am happy to produce a product that will sell x number of copies over y years and will cover all the costs as well as allow me to invest z in the future.

I try and create music that can be performed by many people in different groups and hopefully at times in different combination. My belief is that the music will be used by a number of performers and with a bit of good fortune help grow a musician or two along the way.

So what happened to the works from 35 years ago? Ten Xylophone Solos with piano accompaniment is still going strong, Little Suite covered its costs and what I thought was the most exciting of the three, The North Yorkshire Suite, hardly did anything. Probably too much of a limited audience at the Scarborough Spa and surrounding Wolds for that one although I did include it in the Three Suites Collection published a few years ago.

What is more exciting is what is coming next: Dozens of Duets will appear on-line soon for clarinets, bassoons, unpitched percussion, trumpets, pitched percussion, horns, violins, oboes, violin and cello,… These duets start very simply during the first few dozens before progressing to a more challenging standard and are written for student with student. After years of not quite being able to find the right music for marimba I think I now have and Arrow of Eros, an electric baroque influenced composition, is available in both two players/one instrument and two players/two instruments format.

Suitcase of sounds will be available this month for percussion quartet, all the instruments used fit into cabin sized luggage, and other publications are nearing completion with music and poetry and images.  A new collection of Traditional Tunes arrangements for percussion soloist with piano accompaniments are now available from Southern Percussion and there are others I have missed but I’m sure my social media will let you know as soon as things happen.

Happy new music and @prbpnews is my Twitter address, is the website and is my Facebook page for Percussion Music Online.

© Peter R. Birkby 2016


About derangeddrums

Composer, percussionist, musical director, teacher and educator. My music has been written for audiences in palaces and in the street. Music is my vocation and my passion and I hope you enjoy it too.
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