Inspired by a variety of Afro-Cuban styles and rhythms, “Oscillator” is a short, upbeat solo for the intermediate multi-percussionist. My recent obsession with Afro-Cuban All Stars’ album, Absolutely Live II, Michel Camilo Big Band’s Caribe, and Snarky Puppy’s We Like It Here clearly manifests itself in this short composition.
• To get a sense of the slight lilt needed from the performer, listen to the percussionists in the Afro-Cuban All Stars’ “El Cuarto de Tula” and Snarky Puppy’s “Tío Macaco.”
• Work consistently with a metronome. The syncopation can make it easy to distort tempo, so in addition to listening to the click, purposefully subdivide to account for the exact placement of each note.
• Consider your sticking carefully. As with any multiple percussion solo, there are multiple options for sticking, so making those decisions early and carefully can significantly accelerate the learning process. As you play, start slowly and make sure all arm motions are smooth.
Francisco Perez is a percussionist, composer, and educator. He is the Visiting Assistant Professor of Percussion at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, where he oversees all aspects of the percussion studio. As an active composer, Francisco has a wide variety of published works with several ensemble commissions from the University of Kentucky, Texas Christian University, University of Texas at Arlington, as well as solo commissions for a variety of artists throughout the U.S. His works are published by C. Alan Publications and Tapspace Publications. For more information about Francisco, visit www.perezperc.com.