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percussion trio music score

Shapeshifter     12'55"
Percussion trio for xylophone, vibraphone and marimba

General Information

Richly contrasted, virtuosic and electrifying, this trio at times explodes with energy and at other times is a sensual whispered hush.

The opening Shape is followed by the eight Shifts it transforms into.

Each shift transforms the trio. Sometimes the position and harmonies of the three lines are changed. Sometimes the whole shape changes when the three lines start at different times. Sometimes both of these transformations happen at the same time.

Still, forget all that! - even with all this counterpoint...

Just feel it, watch, listen and enjoy!

The piece is tremendous fun - to listen to, to watch and to play.

Exact Forces

Xylophone, Vibraphone & Marimba - each player also chooses three unpitched instruments.

Performer Feedback

From Sankorfa Percussion Quartet

"A welcome addition to the percussion trio repertoire, this piece will suit any ensemble seeking to perform music that is truly contemporary in style. It is a unique composition - certainly pushing the musical and technical boundaries of most - and has been written with a clear understanding and knowledge of the instruments.

However, despite the harmonic and rhythmic complexity that exists throughout, a strong sense of groove and character is always evident."


More of what Sankorfa had to say can be read here Percussion Trio Feedback.

More Analysis

For a more detailed analysis please see Percussion Trio analysis.

Score Extract and Listen

Click to read and listen to extracts

Extract 1

Extract 2

Extract 3
A page at a glance:

percussion trio music score



Michael Allen, Alex Duggan,
Ruth Slatter, Scott Wilson

Sankorfa persussion quartet

Shapeshifter was premiered by Michael, Scott and Ruth in May 2007 at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London.


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