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Percussion Ensembles

10 windows

percussion ensemble
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Composer: Clif Walker
Publisher: Innovative Percussion
Instrumentation: 2 bells, castanet machine, slapstick, vibra-slap, tambourine, 1 to 2 sets of wind chimes (players 1 and 10 can share if set-up allows), 2 vibraphone, temple blocks, 2 bows, 3 wood blocks, marimba (low A), 1 to 2 bowed gong (players 5 and 9 can share if set-up allows), 2 sleigh bells, marimba (low C), chimes, 3 to 4 triangles, congas, bongos, timpani (5), 2 sets finger cymbals, claves, covers or mutes, triangle, crotales (1 octave), log drums(4), ride cymbal with rivets, suspended cymbal, sizzle cymbal, splash cymbal, bell tree, metal plate or break drum(ice bell), concert bass drum, shekere, claves, 4 toms

Program Notes:

10 windows” was inspired during a bedtime ritual with our oldest son, Joe. When he was four, in an effort to stall he would create his own bedtime story after our book time was complete. “Once upon a time there was a kid named Joe…”, or “Once upon a time there was a Prince named Joe...”. But one night he offered “Once upon a time, there was a room with 10 windows…” and I was hooked. He took me window to window and described what each looked out upon. I imagined the room as an art museum, but instead of pictures, there were uniquely framed windows, each looking out onto a different, living scene, free from reality (one a snowy forest, the next outer space). I think Joe only made it to window three, but ten had a ring to it.  Around that same time, Dr. John Parks IV at The Florida State University had asked me to write a follow up to “promise music” for the FSU percussion ensemble, so “10 windows” was born.

This work is a through composed, ten section piece that explores two basic motifs: the first major, based on a Gb Lydian mode, and the second, minor built on F# natural minor scale: Use of flats = major, and sharps = minor throughout. The enharmonic spelling Gb/F# occurs to highlight this shift.  The construction of each window is related in some small way to its number in the sequence.   

introduction:  main theme, (major to minor)

window 1: one player, solo vibraphone in player 3 (minor)

window 2: 7/16 phrased in 2, duet for player 6 and 7 (minor)

window 3: three note pitch groupings (major)

window 4: four bar groupings 11/16, 11/16, 12/16, 11/16 (major)

window 5: 5/4 + 5/8 time signature and rhythmic note groupings (minor)

window 6: 6 note pitch groupings (minor to major)

window 7: 4/4 +  3/4 pattern, 7 note rhythmic groupings (major)

window 8: 4/4 time, occasional groupings of 8 notes in (player 6 & player 10) (major)

window 9: time signature, 9 note pitch groupings (minor to major)

window 10: 5/4 + 5/8 pattern, 5 note rhythmic groupings (player 8 & player 10) (minor to major)

There are also many hidden “10s” throughout the work such as tempi markings (55, 64, 82, 91 etc), rehearsal marks (10, 28, 109, 172, 208, etc.) as well as the more obvious 10 players utilized in the work. If you add up all the 10s and divide by the number of the window in which it appears, you get the date and time of when the world will end:  false. The numerology of the piece isn’t always literal or present but served as an inspiration throughout.

The two, mirror image, bell parts are at times Joe and I touring, window to window. Sometimes I slow down, take a break, catch up, he’s younger and it’s a big room.

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Additional Images

Clif Walker

Blue Springs High School, Gateway Indoor

Clif Walker is in his third year as the Front Ensemble Arranger for Gateway Indoor and his sixth year as percussion arranger at Blue Springs High School (Blue Springs, MO). He holds a BSE from Missouri Western State University and an MME from the University of Central Florida.

During his time at Blue Springs as Director of Percussion (2011-2015), the percussion program performed for the Missouri Music Educator's Association State Convention as winners of the percussion ensemble "Call for Tapes" (2015), and earned first place in the World Division at the 25th Annual Mozingo Music Percussion Competition (2014), earning the awards for Best Front Ensemble and Best Tenorline. In 2015, Blue Springs became the first Missouri band to make the Bands of America Grand National Finals.

While Director of Percussion at Timber Creek High School in Orlando, Florida (2001-2008), Clif lead an ensemble that performed at the 2003 and 2008 FMEA State Music Conventions, the 2004 SDMENC/FMEA Music Convention, and the 2005 Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) as the winners of the high school percussion ensemble "Call for Tapes." In 2008, Timber Creek Independent was launched with Clif as Director/Arranger and made WGI History with two class promotions in one season. They achieved several other successes as well, including first place finishes at WGI Orlando (A Class), the WGI Nashville Power Regional (Open Class), and FFCC State Championships (World Class). They also were WGI PIW Finalist at World Championships in Dayton, Ohio their very first year.

Clif worked with the Southwind Drum and Bugle Corps (Percussion Caption Head/Arranger 1999-2002) and is a former member and instructor of the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps (1992, 1994, and 1998). He also served as the Vice President of the Florida Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society (2008-2009).

He is an active adjudicator, arranger, and composer with original works performed at PASIC, The Midwest Band Orchestra Clinic, and the Sydney Opera House. His works for percussion ensemble, "Promise Music," "A Garden of Weeds," and "10 Windows" are all published by Innovative Percussion.

Clif is proud to endorse Yamaha Musical Instruments, Remo Drumheads, Sabian Cymbals, and Innovative Percussion Sticks and Mallets. He lives in Blue Springs, Missouri with his wife Christie and their three children—Joe, Tes, and Berg.

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Clif Walker Clif Walker
Blue Springs High School, Gateway Indoor
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