Baird, James- A Stroll on the Bottom of the Sea, for three percussionists (Digital Download)

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For 3 percussionists. Written for young players, Baird's imaginary stroll on the ocean floor uses graphic notation similar to Feldman's "King of Denmark." The instrumentation is flexible and can include found instruments as well as traditional percussion such as triangles and drums. Duration: variable

Review from Percussive Arts Society:

A Stroll on the Bottom of the Sea   

James Baird


This piece for percussion trio evokes the imagery of life at the bottom of the sea. The performers are given the freedom to choose instruments that will create this effect. The instrumentation simply calls for high-pitched, medium pitched, and low-pitched instruments played by players one, two, and three, respectively. Specific instruments, such as triangles and cymbals are required. The composer also requires the use of “wood instruments” and “skin instruments.” The use of mallets, brushes, and other soft implements allow the performers to suggest muffled, underwater sounds. Each of the three movements is performed at a different tempo: slow, fast, and moderate.


An alternate, box-style notation is used, with each box equaling one beat. The length of the beat is to be determined by the conductor. Vertical lines and arrows determine the volume and shape of the phrase. In addition to vertical lines, letters are used inside the boxes: “C” for cymbals, “W” for wooden instruments, and “S” for skin-headed instruments. This piece will sound different every time. The musicians will be challenged by both the performance as well as the contemplation and selection of instruments.—Jeff W. Johnson, 2020