Stonescapes was commissioned by the Oak Hills High School Percussion Ensemble to be premiered at the 2012 Creative and Performing Arts Festival in Cincinnati Ohio. Composed for 13 players, Stonescapes gathers its musical themes from nature, specifically from landscapes created by formations of rocks. Great musical demands are placed on the performers, particularly within the three multi-percussion parts to create a range of textures from otherwise naturally dark and rugged timbres.
The work opens with a driving Allegro section (Igneous), where a minimalistic approach towards melodic structure is balanced with a pulsing rhythmic drone. The second movement (Sedimentary) draws programmatic inspiration from water and rock. Simple and flowing melodic motives are shared with injections of organic sound. Rubato rhythm patterns and instruments only half controlled by the performers, such as wind chimes and clay pots, are used to hint an aleatoric mood. The final movement (Metamorphic) is a steady acclamation of many short polyrhythmic themes. Each new theme is introduced and stacked on top of the previous idea, creating a mixture of textures, form and timbres. A very slight lilt may be applied similar to that found in Brazilian Maracatu.