Planet Damnation was originally conceived as a work for solo timpani and orchestra. This edition of the work, for percussion ensemble, was arranged by Dr. Omar Carmenates, Associate Professor of Percussion at Furman University, USA. A version for solo timpani and digital audio (PE172) is also available.
Allured by the potential of the timpani to facilitate both rhythmically elaborate and melodically expressive writing, Psathas exhausts the entire spectrum of the instrument’s capabilities in Planet Damnation, and Carmenates complements Psathas’ broad scope by throwing a 12-piece percussion ensemble behind the timpanist in his arrangement. Four marimba and three vibraphones articulate the rhythmic complexity that propels the work forward, employing exciting interlocking rhythms and insistent pulses. Elsewhere, bowed keys and tension-inducing rolls provide a baleful backdrop for the timpanist’s statements. A full complement of auxiliary percussion is also on hand; ominous rototom and bass drum material supports the timpani’s pounding rhythms, while the use of piccolo and concert snare drums retain the subtle references to martial music found in the work’s original version.