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Christopher Cerrone

A Natural History of Vacant Lots

ambient music for percussion quartet and electronics

(2018)
Duration9'
CommissionCo-commissioned by Miller Theatre at Columbia University and Third Coast Percussion’s New Works Fund
PremiereMarch 29, 2018
; Miller Theatre at Columbia University, New York, NY; Third Coast Percussion

InstrumentationPercussion 1
Vibraphone 1 (with motor)


Sizzle Cymbal 1

Percussion 2
1 Glockenspiel bar (sounding two octaves higher)
8 Metal pipes of galvanized steel
Vibraphone 1 (shared with Perc. 1)
Snare Drum (rubbed with a piece of paper)

Percussion 3
3 Glockenspiel bars (sounding two octaves higher)
5 Crotales (sounding two octaves higher)
Crystal Glass (sounding as written)
Vibraphone 2 (shared with Perc. 4)

Percussion 4
Vibraphone 2 (no motor)
(with lowest F# and A# resonators prepared with aluminum foil)
Sizzle Cymbal 2

Electronic Track
Click tracks for all players
Stereo Speakers
Technical requirementsSee preview pages for technical details.
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. This 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

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Full Score/Violin Part (Digital)

Full score and Solo Part (Digital)

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)

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

Parts (Mov. 11 only) (Print)

Full Score (4 needed for performance) (Print)

Choral Score Set - 20 copies (Print)

Chamber Ensemble Score (Print)

Piano Reduction and solo parts (Digital)

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

Score and part (Digital)

Score and part (Print)

Conductor Score (Print)

Full Score/Violin Part (Print)

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

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

Tenor/Bass Part (Print)

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.

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

SATB choral score (Print)

Vocal Score (Digital)

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)