How much would you say has been written for solo percussion? A bunch? A lot? Not enough? And what about solo works for portable instruments?
Like many new music pieces, it started as a commission: “A few years after I first met Molly,” says Truesdell, “I began a duo project with Keith Aleo, now the Director of Percussion at Interlochen Arts Academy. We were looking for solo and duo works that were written for portable instruments. On our first list of commissions was Molly.”
“Head to Toe was inspired by my experience performing in high school marching band,” says Joyce, “and thus the idea that one player can perhaps become a whole marching band himself.”
How did Truesdell react? “I was excited and worried: I had never officially ‘marched’ in a marching band, but I do know first-hand how exciting marching bands can be (I was a member of the front ensemble, or “pit” of the 2002 Madison Scouts).”
The piece sat for a few months. Truesdell, an Assistant Professor of Percussion at University of Northern Colorado, had a busy travel and concert schedule but he eventually decided to work with Chapman and drive to Philly to record the piece. Joyce joined them for a day of recording. Here it is.