Cat Spanking: A Fantasy for Percussion (2003)
duration ca. 8:11
Player 1: Piano
Player 2: Xylophone 1, Vibraphone
Player 3: Marimba, Orchestra Bells, Vibraphone, Temple Blocks
Player 4: Celeste, Medium Wood Block, Xylophone 2
Player 5: Timpani 1 (3 drums)
Player 6: Timpani 2 (3 drums), Finger Cymbals
Player 7: Snare Drum, Large Wood Block, Chimes
Player 8: Tenor Drum, Triangle, Tambourine, Large Tam-tam, Claves, Log Drum, Large Suspended Cymbal
Player 9: Small Bass Drum, Small Wood Block, Large Suspended Cymbal, Large Tam-tam, Crotales, Gongs and/or Almglocken in D, F, and B
Players 2 and 3 share the same vibraphone. Players 8 and 9 share the same tam-tam, suspended cymbal, and gongs/almglocken.
The two sets of timpani are to be placed on opposite sides of the stage, as are the two xylophones.
While visiting my parents' house, I saw our cat Elektra leap upon the dining room table. This behaviour (on the cat's part, not mine) was promptly and vigorously rewarded with a spanking from my mother. Curiously, the rhythm of the spanking was in 7/8 (WHAP-whap-whap Whap-whap Whap-whap) which instantaneously brought to mind the main melody of the work. The subtitle refers only to the free form of the piece (a rather loose theme and variations in a fast-slow-fast tempo scheme) and not to some pathological hatred of cats on my part. Personally, I love cats, although they must not, of course, be allowed on the dining room table.
Cat Spanking: A Fantasy for Percussion was premiered by the University of Georgia Percussion Ensemble, Danny H. Tindall, director, on May 22, 1979 at the University of Georgia. It received First Prize in the 1992 Percussion Arts Society Composition Contest and is published b y C. Alan Publications/McClaren Press.
Difficulty: College. The main difficulties lie in the almost constant meter changes in the outer sections at very fast tempi.