Scrap metal orchestra

Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Yesterday Rambert performed Anatomica #3 by Andre Gingras to a score by my old friend and colleague Joseph Hyde. After chatting with Rambert's principal percussionist Rob Millett, Jo discovered Rob was an avid collector of scrap metal instruments. Jo's score featured four percussionists playing scrap metal percussion of various kinds and the music was influenced by Gamelan and minimalism, but it sounded quite unique, I was very impressed. Jo and I are dreaming of setting up rival scrap metal orchestras, and after hearing what he managed to acheive with this piece, I'm definitely inspired!


Jo's kindly allowed me to post an excerpt of the piece here:

later on, with a wonderfully distorted electronic sound:

I asked Jo for a list of what the four percussionists play:

Performer 1
• 6 alloy scaffolding pipes
• 5 square-section iron pipes
• 1 long iron pipe
• small shaker
• 2 metal drums
• tam-tam (as large as poss)

Performer 2
• shaker
• lensdrum
• 7 cowbells
• large Chinese cymbal, 20” heavy Turkish cymbal
• ‘circle’ of drums comprising:
large orchestral bass drum, 18” floor tom, 16” tom, 14” tom, 12” tom, low timbale, high timbale, low bongo, high bongo
large field snare, snares off

Performer 3
• shaker
• kalimba
• 3 cowbells
• 9 kitchen bowls
• 3 temple bowls
• 18” light Turkish cymbal with ‘sizzles’, 14” light Turkish cymbal,7” light Turkish cymbal
• Small set of standing drums: small, damped bass drum, small snare (snare on), 14” tom, 12” tom, low bongo, high bongo

Performer 4
• 49-key Keyboard, playing a variety of pre-recorded samples


Howard McClellan commenting on Scrap metal orchestra:
Thursday, December 08, 2011 at 08:29

I have heard with some interest a performance of Tchaikovsky's 1812 overture on Radio 4 the other day. I am a composer who has written some 21 sympnonies (+several other orchestral works including a Viola Concerto completed a few days ago).

Well, by now you may guess what I am going to write! I am looking for exposure in terms of a performance of some of my works and was wondering if I could interest the SMO. I feel perhaps a performance of my work may help both the SMO and myself. I have tried to enter muisical competitions elsewhere but have been refused entry as I am (well)over 35! I would appreciate any interest you might have and would be happy to compose a work for you, seeing how you have provided a list of instruments you use.

Many thanks - any reply would be much appreciaed.

With kind regards,

Howard McClellan

Leave a Reply


2017: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 
2016: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 
2015: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 
2014: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 
2013: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 
2012: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 
2011: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 
2010: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 
2009: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 
2008: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 
2007: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 
2006: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 

Recent news items

Most popular posts

All works are available through

© 2017 David Bruce