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for solo percussion and orchestra
percussion and orchestra
Cast as a single movement, Switch takes off where my orchestral cycle Play left off in exploring non-linear narrative structures and video game logic. The percussionist’s many instruments act as triggers, turning other players on and off, making them play forward and backward, and causing them to jump to entirely different musical worlds. Andrew Norman
Edition: Performance material

Product Details


Switch builds on several familiar themes in Andrew Norman's music, notably the hyperkinetic play between soloist and ensemble and the juxtaposition of a strict control of musical elements versus a freedom from that control. The piece takes full advantage of the theatric and athletic style of performance that solo percussionists naturally bring to the concert hall. The soloist bounds onto the stage at the start of the piece to catch his first entrance and begin a journey through what can best be described as the game of Switch. There are narrative twists and turns intercut one on top of the other throughout the duration with the orchestra and soloist taking turns controlling (or not) the events of the narrative.

The use of individual percussion instruments to trigger different sections of the orchestra keeps listeners guessing and focused on the soloist one moment, individual sections of the orchestra in the next moment. Switch culminates with the soloist and orchestra finding their own separate paths out of the game; the rules are suddenly suspended and the solo percussionist sets to working out a quietly inquisitive triadic theme on tuned gongs. In the stunning and stirring closing moments, the soloist strikes a final E on tuned gongs before turning and slowly walking off stage. 

Orchestral Cast

3(3.pic).3(3.ca).3(3.ebcl).3-4.3.2.btbn.1-3perc(I: kick drum, slapstick, 5 tempbl, 2 bng, log drum, sm sus cym, guiro, crot (2 octaves); II: 4 pieces of wood, 2 cong, log drum, med sus cym, washboard, vib, glsp; III: kick drum, slapstick, 3 wdbl, 2 bng, log drum, 4 tom-t, lg sus cym, ratchet, tam-t; Solo percussion: 2 sus cym, 3 splash cym, xyl, almgl (2 octaves), 3 sm thai gongs, 5 tin cans, 5 tempbl, 4 tom-t, 2 bng, 2 cong, s.d, b.d, 2 tri, kick drum, 4 wdbl, tam-t, vib, 7 tuned gongs)-pno.hp-str

More Information

for solo percussion and orchestra
Performance material
Schott Music Corporation
Year of composition:
2014 - 2015
30 ′
World Premiere:
November 6, 2015 · Salt Lake City, UT (USA)
Abravanel Hall
Colin Currie, percussion · Conductor: Thierry Fischer · Utah Symphony

Commissioned work :
Commissioned by the Serge Koussevitzky Music Foundation and the Utah Symphony

Technical Details

Product number:
LSMC 50664
Delivery rights:


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