Deranged Drums on Digital Vistas now published

Castle Hill 360

For Percussion Ensembles

Deranged Drums on Digital Vistas for drum kit (set) and two percussion ensembles is now published and the complete set of full score and parts is now available to order from the Home page at

I experimented with a download version of the music for ease of distribution, and consequently a much lower price, but the complexities of the concept meant creating a full score with many options would be too costly, in time and resources, for the customer. As I have all the resources to manufacture the books ordering a physical copy will be much more satisfactory, even though there is a wait for the postal service, as it will be a better and more lasting product when it arrives through the mail. The score is a fully bound A3 size book and the eight part books are bound A4 size.

The concept for the complete work is that two ensembles perform fixed sections of music (Vistas) one after the other (there are a few that have some overlap). The ensemble of drum kit and tuned percussion has 18 Vistas, titled 1 to 18, and the ensemble of unpitched instruments has 19 Vistas named A to S. Each ensemble can start with any Vista and then continue in a linear fashion to an end point (which can be pre-determined or decided during the performance). As there is no defined start or end point the performance can continue in a loop, all music supplied in the score and parts, until an end is reached.

Starting points – if all the Vistas are to be performed a pre-determined starting point can be decided by the conductor/director, audience participation or chance – picking a number and letter out of a hat, key-pad voting, show of hands, texting, tweeting… At the first performance which was organised out in the community at a local bar and restaurant and the audience used whiteboard and pen or text to choose the starting points of Vista 11 followed by Vista J.

End point – the performance can be of any duration, fixed or undefined, with any amount of time being possible. As with the starting points the end point can be pre-determined or left to the discretion of the conductor/director during the performance or the audience could decide. Approximate (or suggested) durations for each Vista are included on the contents page to assist with the performance choices and the whole work, with no repeated material, lasts approximately one hour.

Instrumentation – the numbered Vistas are performed by a percussion quintet that features the drum kit (set) with marimba, tambourine, vibraphone, tubular bells (chimes), glockenspiel (bells), timpani (4 pedals), triangle, bell tree, finger cymbals, Mark tree, and shaker. The lettered Vistas are performed by a percussion trio using a mixture of 3 tambourines, high and low metal sounds (not cymbals), high and low wood sounds, high and low drum sounds, snare drum Mexican bean, pop gun, bass drum, 2 wood blocks, 2 temple blocks, claves, 2 suspended cymbals, 2 triangles, 3 sandpaper blocks, bongos, hand drum, ride cymbal, hi hat, china cymbal, crash cymbal, splash cymbal, large crash cymbal, clash cymbals, brake drum, surdo, castanets, tom tom, congas, thunder (metal) sheet, 3 brass prayer bowls, Indian bell, brass rod, bullroarer and 6 cowbells.

Deranged Drums on Digital Vistas was composed so that it can be performed almost anywhere, no power or other extras needed, and I hope to hear of how different versions of the work are received in various environments. Some of the music is freely available to listen to at my Bandcamp site

© P. 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.
This entry was posted in Music Composition and Performance and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s