“Flower Power” performance notes

FLOWER POWER for 16 or more players

Instruments

Flower Pots (twelve+ players) are set up in a line from left to right; LARGE, MEDIUM, SMALL, LARGE, MEDIUM, SMALL, etc. Each player (X) sits behind one pot, and needs to be able to reach the pot to their immediate left and right in addition to their own. Add an optional extra pot at each end of the line, or have players at the end play ‘air pot’ for their left or right. Alternatively, you can set up the pots in a circle. The disadvantage of the circle is that you must have a multiple of three players and, in a performance, several players will not be visible to an audience sitiuated ‘in front’ of the group.

pots

In sections A, C and the CODA, the middle line of the score denotes the pot in front of the player, the top line denotes the pot to the player’s right and the bottom line denotes the pot to the player’s left. Pots in each group should be close in pitch. Small variations add a pleasant shimmering quality.

Cowbell (one player) keeps the beat throughout the piece. A small button gong also works.

Tambourines (one-five players) should be headless and are to be placed on the floor, or a table, and struck with finger tips.

Drum (one player)  I have always played the drum part on a djembe. A tubano or conga would also work.

Gongs I use a 24” tam tam for the bottom line, a 20” wind gong for the middle line, and a 14” button gong for the top line. Alternating between two gongs also works. Substitute other low-frequency resonant instruments (such as contrabass bars) if you don’t have gongs.

Form I like doing this piece in arch form with interludes between each section except the final A and CODA, where I find skipping the interlude helps push the piece forward;

INTRO* A INTERLUDE B INTERLUDE C INTERLUDE B INTERLUDE A CODA

                    *cowbell, tamb. gongs & drum start together and play throughout the piece

The interludes (cowbell, tambourine, gongs and drum) give the flower pot players a moment to prepare for the next section. If you want to shorten the piece, you might omit or shorten some or all of them.

Layering Parts  In the A section, all players with a small pot in front of them play the first time, then players with the medium pots play the second time, followed by players with the medium pots the third time, finishing with all players the fourth time. The C section works similarly, but reverses the entrances. In the CODA, everyone plays together. The double stops mean that the ‘left’ and ‘right’ pots will be hit by two players simultaneously. In the B section, small pots play the first measure, small and medium pots play the second measure, all pots play the third and fourth measures.

Advertisements

2 comments

  1. Meredith Mooney · · Reply

    I love this and am going to have my Orff group play it this spring. I’ll make sure to send you a copy of the program. Question: what do you play the pots with? Sticks? Mallets? And are they upside down or right side up? Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Meredith
      Thanks for playing my piece! For mallets, I use chopsticks that I bought in bulk at an asian market. I have the pots right side up so they ring nicely.
      I’d love to have a program and please let me know if you post a video online!
      -Tom

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: