Cloud Folk - Percussion Octet and Piano (2017)



Notable Performance

Eastman Percussion Group 



Duration 13 minutes


For 8 percussionists and 1 pianist


Cloud Folk was written at the invitation of Michael Burritt for the Eastman Percussion Ensemble. It was the recipient of the 2017 John Beck Composition Prize with the generous support of Ann Carol and Paul S. Goldberg, The Eastman School of Music Percussion Department, Michael Burritt, Kathleen Holt and Stephen Lurie, Ruth and Bill Cahn.

The Cloud Folk are (imaginary) visitors to earth, invisibly parked in our upper atmosphere, observing 21st century human behavior. I’d imagined an arrival driven by optimism, intense curiosity, and excitement; followed quickly by incomprehension, shock, and the hastiest possible departure (back into a wondrous universe teeming with life). With no contact made, in fact avoided at all costs, we were never aware we’d been visited. The music loosely follows this narrative.


Player 1: *Shekere, Marimba (2), Glockenspiel, Suspended Cymbal

Player 2: Drum ‘Set’ (kick, hi-hat, 2 *tambourines: regular ca. 10-inch and small ca. 6-inch) Marimba (1) (bowed), Cabassa

Player 3: Marimba (2), *Maracas, *Low Drum (16-inch double-headed tom) 2 *Toms (concert toms ca. 12-inch and 14-inch), *Sleigh Bells

Player 4: Vibraphone (1) (mallets)

Player 5: Timpani, Tubular Bells, *Shekere, *Triangle sample (ca. 6-inch), Bass Drum

Player 6: Vibraphone (2) (mallets and bow), *Sleigh Bells

Player 7: *Bowed Small Bells (song bells, or equivalent sound), Marimba (1) Bass Drum, *Maracas, *China Gong (wind gong or small Thai gong) Tubular Bells, *Finger Cymbal

Player 8: Marimba (1) (mallets and bow)

Player 9: Piano (light amplification recommended)

Audio samples of some instruments (marked with an asterisk) are available from the composer.


Score and Recordings