Calling All Xylophonists

2 Marimbas

Keeping ensembles going during the last few months of isolation has been difficult and in some cases impossible. The meeting apps are passable for discussions now that most people has learnt the etiquette of multiscreen meeting but for ensembles they are nowhere near ready. I have tried collaboration using the shared recording app Bandlab which was good for the band members that dabble with technology and impossible to fathom for others. In the end I made a backing track, sent each band member their part and the track and asked them to record it and return it. A few hours of matching and mixing in the studio and the track was ready to return for a listen. Hours and hours more in the studio and the track was ready to broadcast. To see the first attempt at this plus fun with video visit Dr. Pete’s Salsa Band page on Facebook from Friday 19th June.


The next project is bigger and better than the last and features the xylophone. At least eight xylophones in the score, although some marimbas are allowed as well, and the final work could easily include more parts depending on demand. Added to the eight xylophone parts are also timpani, snare drum, bass drum, clash cymbals and a one player percussion vibra-slap, maracas and triangle parts.

All I need now are the players to record it. The instruments needed are one and a half octave junior instruments (2 parts) in the key of Eb, 3 octave C to C (2 parts), 3 and a fifth octave F to C (2 parts) and 4 octave C to C (could be marimba).

I am looking at an initial deadline of 1st July 2020 to get the recordings to me in whatever format possible, from the phone as a voice memo, video or proper recording using studio techniques, any method the easiest way possible for you. If enough people are happy to be filmed then the miming to the finished track can be organised later.


To be part of this project please email and I will attach all 13 parts to Xylophilharmonic with the backing track in Mp3 format for xylophonists to choose the most suitable part. This is a two week project to get the music together and hope you can be involved.

Any questions please don’t hesitate to ask and if you know of someone who would like to get involved then please pass the information/music on.

(c) P R Birkby 2020


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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