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Christopher Cerrone

A Natural History of Vacant Lots

version for solo percussion and electronics

(2019)
Duration9'
CommissionA Natural History of Vacant Lots was co-commissioned by Miller Theatre at Columbia University and Third Coast Percussion’s New Works Fund.

This solo version was commissioned by a consortium of percussionists lead by Andy Meyerson and Chris Sies.
PremiereQuartet Version March 29, 2018
 by Third Coast Percussion
at Miller Theatre at Columbia University New York, NY

Solo version by Andy Meyerson on January 6, 2019 at 1 Rivington St, New York City
InstrumentationSolo Percussion and Electronics

1 Vibraphone (with motor)

2 Medium Sizzle Cymbals (with a very long decay)

Pieces of metal:
3 Metal pipes made of galvanized steel (1 inch width) (sounding as written)
3 Glockenspiel Bars (sounding two octaves higher)
5 Crotales (sounding two octaves higher)

Electronic requirements:

Electronic Track

Ear piece for click track
Stereo Speakers
The piece may be amplified, but it is not necessary.
PublisherPSNY

Media

Program Note

I did not walk here all the way from prose 

To make corrections in red pencil

I came here tonight to open you up

To interference heard as music 

—Ben Lerner, from Mean Free Path

Having discarded several more bathetic titles, A Natural History of Vacant Lots struck me as the perfect analogy for my new piece composed for Third Coast Percussion. The piece draws its title from a book by Matthew Vessel and Herbert Wong which, true to its title, describes the secondary florae and faunae that grow as in abandoned lots. Subtitled “ambient music for percussion quartet and electronics,” the work begins in an unusually stark manner—single notes struck on two vibraphones (one with motor; one without) against an electronic soundtrack of the same pitch.

Much of the piece grows out of this initial note, first becoming a chorale, then slowly transforming into a dense forest of figuration over a period of about nine minutes. Though the growth of the material is extremely gradual, the things that emerge from the cycle of chords are sometimes surprising and travel quite far from the original material. 

Around the time I was composing this piece, I had the pleasure of viewing photographs from the series “Intimate Portraits” by Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe, a beautiful series of black-and-white self-portraits of the artist, nude, and in near darkness. Deeply inspired by the emotional vulnerability of these photographs, I began to imagine a connection to the way my work could be performed. Since the precise alignment of live and electronic components of Natural History would require the musicians to play to play to click tracks, I also wondered if there was a way to use this technology as more than a simple performance aid—to work in musical events that would instead be intrinsically linked to it. is could allow me to separate the performers as far apart from one another as physically possible while maintaining perfectly rhythmic ensemble playing—creating a physical analog to Moutoussamy-Ashe’s barren photographic compositions.

– Christopher Cerrone

Purchase

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Types of Products

Score and part (Print)

Score and part (Digital)

Choral Score Set - 16 copies (Print)
Includes 8 copies of the soprano/alto part and 8 copies of the tenor/bass part.

Piano Reduction and solo parts (Digital)

Chamber Ensemble Score (Print)

Full Score/Performance Score (4 required for performance) (Digital)

Full Score/Performance Score (4 required for performance) (Print)

Choral Score (includes 4 copies) (Print)

Anthology edition (Print)

Full Score in 3 volumes (Print)

Choral Booklet (Print)

Choral Booklet (Digital)

Full Score/Performance Score (includes 3 copies) (Print)

Full Score/Performance Score (includes 3 copies) (Digital)

Full Score/Performance Score (2 required for performance) (Print)

Full Score/Performance Score (2 required for performance) (Digital)

Full Score (3 scores needed for performance) (Digital)

Performance Score (includes 4 scores) (Print)

Full Score (3 scores needed for performance) (Print)

Full score and Solo Part (Digital)

Full Score/Performance Score (6 scores required for performance) (Digital)

solo part and piano reduction (Print)

solo part and piano reduction (Digital)

Parts (Mov. 11 only) (Print)

Full Score (4 needed for performance) (Print)

Choral Score Set - 20 copies (Print)

Full Score/Violin Part (Digital)

Full Score/Violin Part (Print)

Conductor Score (Print)

Study Score in Two Volumes (Print)

Piano reduction and solo part (Print)

Piano/Vocal Score (Print)

Piano/Vocal Score (Digital)

Video and instructions (Digital)

Score and Parts (Digital)
Score and part PDF files are delivered via email upon receipt. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase.

Soprano/Alto Part (Print)

Full Score (Digital)
A PDF file of the full score is delivered via email upon receipt.

Tenor/Bass Part (Print)

Full Score (Print)
A print edition of the score ships to the customer's address upon receipt.

Parts (Digital)
A PDF file of the part(s) is delivered via email upon receipt.

Parts (Print)
A print edition of the part(s) ship to the customer's address upon receipt.

Solo Instrument Score (Digital)
A score PDF file is delivered via email upon receipt. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase. An email containing a link to download the electronic files is sent to the customer's email address.

Full Score/Performance Score (Digital)
The full score serves as a performance score for all players. A score PDF file is delivered via email upon receipt. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase. An email containing a link to download the electronic files is sent to the customer's email address.

Score and Parts (Print)
A print edition of the score and part(s) ship to the customer's address upon receipt. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase. The email containing a link to download the electronic files is sent to the customer.

Solo Instrument Score (Print)
A print edition of the score is shipped to the customer's address upon receipt. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase. An email containing a link to download the electronic files is sent to the customer's email address.

Full Score/Performance Score (Print)
The full score serves as a performance score for all players. Print edition(s) of the full score/performance score are shipped to the customer's address upon receipt. Multiple copies are included if the work has more than one player. Any electronic files associated with the work are included with every purchase.

Choral Score (Digital)
A PDF file of the choral score is delivered via email upon receipt. The set is priced to allow multiple copies of the PDF to be printed for performance by the purchasing organization only.

Study Score (print) (Digital)

Study Score (print) (Print)

Choral Score Set- 8 copies (Print)
Minimum order quantity is 8 copies. Single copies are not available.

Vocal Score (Digital)

SATB choral score (Print)

Vocal Score (Print)

Choral Score (Print)

Full Score and Solo Part (Print)
A print edition of the score and solo part ships to the customer's address upon receipt.

Mezzo-soprano, 2 tenors, baritone score (Print)

Study Score (Print)

Study Score (Digital)

SATB choral score (Digital)

Mezzo-soprano, 2 tenors, baritone score (Digital)