Danny Elfman - Percussion Concerto & Wunderkammer [CD]


Format: CD
Label: Sony Classical
Rel. Date: 05/17/2024
UPC: 196588898426

Percussion Concerto & Wunderkammer [CD]
Artist: Danny Elfman
Format: CD


1. Wunderkammer
2. I
3. II
4. III
5. Percussion Concerto
6. I. Triangle
7. II. D.S.C.H.
8. III. Down
9. IV. Syncopate
10. Are You Lost?

More Info:


Percussion has always been an important part of my life. Beginning in my travels though West Africa when I was 18 years old, when I began collecting and learning to play ‘balafons’ (kind of like the African version of a marimba), and through my years of playing in metal-based Indonesian Gamalan ensembles in my twenties, as well as building my own strange metal and wood percussion ensembles in my early theatrical performance years, it has always been a lifelong obsession. 

Shortly after we premiered my first violin concerto, I had a chance meeting with percussionist Colin Currie in London. We decided it could be great fun to create a piece together. I was excited to plunge into the challenge of another concerto while at the same time to really go back to my roots with wood and metal, mallets and sticks and hands. I also knew Colin was an extraordinary musician who would be great to collaborate with.  

And I was aware that there were far fewer concertos for percussion then the more obvious piano, violin, cello, etc, and that meant there were far fewer models to guide me which made the idea of a percussion concerto far more enticing.  




It was just before the pandemic when I was in London working on a film score, and my publisher suggested I meet the NYOGB (The National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain)  as they had expressed interest in the possibility of doing a commission. At first I was skeptical about the idea of a youth orchestra, but I decided to attend a performance they were giving. I was, to say the least, blown away by how good they were. I decided on the spot that I would indeed find a way to write a piece for them.  

So I jumped into the composition that’s now called Wunderkammer. My original intentions was to create something that was very challenging for them, as I knew they were up for that, and something that would also be fun and exciting for them to dig into which might feature different instrument sections throughout to give everyone a moment to shine. 

A Wunderkammer (or “wonder room”) is a cabinet of curiosities or even a room of mystery and oddities which can be fun, or scary, intriguing or instructive, but never boring! And that’s just what I was hoping to bring to the NYOGB with Wunderkammer. 



My first concerto was written for violinist Sandy Cameron. She had been besieging me for ages to write a duet for violin and voice. I finally relented on the condition that we add a piano and make it a trio. While talking about the project with two composer friends we all decided to write for the same trio for a collaborative project which will be called, appropriately, “Trio”. When I began discussing the possibility of recording the concerto and Wunderkammer with Sony Classical they suggested that I include something that had never been performed. It was then I decided to take one of the 4 moments I’d written for “Trio” and to both expand and  adapt it for choir and full orchestra. Thus, the origins of “Are You Lost?”