Unique in its use of timbre, groove, melody, and counterpoint, Gene Koshinski’s Rattle the Cage is a modern day tour de force for percussion ensemble. Utilizing the primary instrumentation of 3 marimbas, 2 vibraphones, xylophone, glockenspiel, chimes, and bass drum, it mixes in a collection of non-pitched bells, siren and cymbals.
Players are called upon to create unique textures through a variety of playing techniques. There are numerous instances of interplay that will require mature performers, however technical passages are still quite playable so long as a solid foundation of tempo and communication is present. It is not a program piece – it is instead an abstract exploration of the musical elements mentioned above (most notably timbre and texture).
While this is an ambitious and work for percussion ensemble, it also communicates a certain optimism and lightness that will make it entertaining for music lovers of all types.
Rattle the Cage ships as a professionally bound folio with full-color cover, and individual parts on CD-ROM.