Composer: Edmund Jolliffe
Instrument: Percussion Ensemble
'The Game' was commissioned by Odense Percussion. The parts are set at different standards, rising gradually in difficulty from Player 1 - 6. The basket ball bounce may be taken by a separate player or, if taken by Player 1, they should ignore the maracas after bar 89. At this point the player should come to the centre of the stage. Depending on performance venue/circumstances, for added drama the basket ball may be thrown in the last bar - perhaps caught by someone in the audience, or if performed in a sports hall, aimed at a hoop.
This piece uses a lot of repetition. A phrase we hear a lot is 'practice makes perfect' and musicians often have to repeat phrases a lot to hone a particular skill. The same is true in sport. Everyone has to practise on their own but a piece/game only works when players work together.
'The Game' is meant to be enjoyable and fun. It never gets too serious. Even its climactic moments are fake climaxes really - based on diminished seventh chords. After all, it's only a game.
Marimba (5 Octave)
Whistle (on string around neck)
Basket Ball (may also be taken by a separate player)
About the composer +
Edmund’s music draws on a huge range of styles and influences. He writes music for film and television and is also an award-winning concert composer.
First Prizes in composition competitions include: Freudig Singers Choral Composition Competition, USA; Ithaca College Choral Composition Competition, USA; Amadeus Choir Song writing Competition, Canada; Ely Consort Advent Composing Competition; Hendrix Candlelight Carol Competition, USA; Renée B. Fisher Composer Award, USA.
Recent commissions include pieces for the Royal Academy of Music, the London Chinese Children’s Ensemble, and Oxford University Press Collections. His choral music is available from OUP, Stainer and Bell, Banks Music. ABRSM publish a clarinet piece by him for their Grade 2 2022 syllabus.
He has been writing music to picture for over twenty years. Major series he has composed music for include ‘Who do you think you are?’ (BBC1), ‘Homestead Rescue’ (Discovery), ‘Sort your life out’ (BBC1), ‘Grand Designs: The Street’ (C4), ‘Crazy Delicious’ (C4/Netflix), ‘Long Lost Family’ (ITV1) and ‘Unreported World’ (C4). He was nominated for an RTS Craft and Design Award for his score for the BBC film ‘Elizabeth at 90’.
He is a Lecturer in Composing for the Moving Image at City University and taught composition at the Royal Academy of Music and Trinity College of Music (Junior Departments) for many years.
In 2021 Odense Percussion, led by Søren Monrad, commissioned a new ensemble piece by Edmund called The Game, which was world-premiered at the Danish National Academy of Music, Denmark on November 15, 2021.
More information about him can be found at: www.edmundjolliffe.com
Information current to December 2022
Review (Percussive Notes, June 2022)
The Game” is a percussion ensemble piece in which each part is more difficult than the other. This means that Part 1 is playable for almost any percussionist, including beginners, and Parts 4 and 5 are much more difficult and use four mallets. Given the unique structure of the parts, this is perfect for a situation where you would want to blend ability levels; think high school/college age playing with middle school and even elementary aged students.
The composer writes, “This piece uses a lot of repetition. A phrase we hear a lot is ‘practice makes perfect,’ and musicians often have to repeat phrases a lot to hone a particular skill. The same is true in sport. Everyone has to practice on their own, but a piece/game only works when players work together.” This is also a good opportunity to teach the process of practice and repetition.
In addition to the orchestration of levels being something entirely unique, it is simply a delightful piece, and I highly recommend it for situations that demand players of varying skill levels.
Front Cover graphics and layout: Ronni Kot Wenzell
Printed in Copenhagen, Denmark
Copyright © Edition SVITZER
With support from Koda’s Cultural Funds