Macbride, David- No Percussion Left Behind, for solo percussion

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Review from Percussive Notes (2021):

No Percussion Left Behind

David Macbride

“No Percussion Left Behind,” subtitled “(an ongoing series of solos for single percussion instruments)” by David Macbride is the answer to the question, “Is there a solo for rainstick?” In this set of 17 solos, each ranging around three minutes long, Macbride explores new areas of both percussion and physical performance. It seems evident that the composer went out of his way to use instrumentation outside of the standard percussion lexicon (snare drum, marimba, timpani, etc.).

There are, of course, examples of standard instruments such as solo bass drum, claves, and triangle, all of which are both rhythmically engaging and offer opportunity for engaging performance. There are also non-standard instruments such as electric saw blade (or similar resonant metal), slightly used drumhead, and very large wooden hammer on large resonant plywood box. The notation also runs the gamut from standard to timebase to simply a set of instructions. Macbride has done a great job giving clear instructions while leaving space for the performer to interpret.

If the instrumentation is a hindrance, the composer states that “pieces may be played individually, as sets in any sequence, or scattered throughout a program.” I highly recommend “No Percussion Left Behind.” It is a wonderful exploration of nonstandard playing that offers value for anyone performing these pieces.

—Joe Millea