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Heads Up!

5 players with various drum heads
Composer: Mark Ford
Publisher: Innovative Percussion, Inc.
Instrumentation: 5 timpani or bass drum heads (32" to 20"), 3 frame drums (small, medium, large), bottom snare head, police whistle with neck strap, bass drum or timpani head with the plastic cut out of the center

Program Notes:
Heads Up! is a companion piece for my earlier composition Head Talk (1987). This new composition is an excursion into further possibilities of a five-member percussion ensemble with only standard drum heads. The Heads Up! ensemble is required to perform primarily on timpani heads (or bass drum heads) and frame drums as they move around the stage. My sincere appreciation to Mr. Ju and the Ju Percussion Group from Taipei, Taiwan who commissioned Heads Up! Mr Ju's invitation and the many ensembles and audiences around the world who have enjoyed Head Talk made me realize that there was still a little fun left in drum heads!

Review:
“Heads Up!” was commissioned by the Ju Percussion Group from Taiwan, who performed it at PASIC 2003. As Ford describes in his prefatory remarks: “Heads Up! is a companion piece for my earlier composition Head Talk (1987). This new composition is an excursion into the further possibilities of a five-member percussion ensemble with only standard drum heads. The Heads Up! ensemble is required to perform primarily on timpani heads (or bass drum heads) and frame drums as they move around the stage.” The percussion quintet is challenged to perform this theatrical composition in such a whimsical fashion as to evoke the unexpected from the audience acquainted with “Head Talk.” Instead of the performers sitting, they stand and move with careful choreographed movements, with occasional kneeling performance instructions. The drumheads and associated equipment needed include five timpani or bass drum heads (graduated in sizes from 20" to 32" diameter), three frame drums, one bottom (snare) head, one police whistle, and one bass drum or timpani head with the plastic cut out so that the performer can make a “paper head” that is broken at the end of the composition. Specific instructions are clearly articulated by Ford in the preface. “Heads Up!” is certain to capture the whimsy of the mature percussion quintet. It is sophisticated, yet very entertaining for both performers and audience. — Jim Lambert Percussive Notes, April 2004

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Mark Ford Mark Ford
University of North Texas
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