The Inventions are scored for two percussionists, each playing a battery of four unspecified instruments. One of the instruments in each battery has a relatively long sustain, and appears on the top line of the staff the other three instruments, having a relatively shorter sustain, are arranged in order of relative pitch. In this recording, Trey and Dan chose the instruments collaboratively, and Trey plays both parts. Daniel Levitan has composed many works for percussion (and a few for other instruments) over the last 30 years. His pieces are performed regularly by percussion ensembles across the country and around the world, and many have become standards of the percussion literature. His music is published by Keyboard Percussion Publications. Trey Files, an active member of New York’s classical and Broadway percussion communities, is basically an over-educated rock drummer. His credits include Ethos Percussion Group (fifteen years and counting), Spring Awakening (a Broadway show that won eight Tonys and a Grammy), and numerous recordings with the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra.
“‘These eight duets for a battery of non-pitched percussion instruments were all performed by Trey Files. Liner notes describe Files as ‘an over-educated rock drummer,’ but also indicate his being an active New York classical and Broadway percussionist. When listening to the recording and, in particular, when looking at the music samples on the composer’s website, the technical feat is very impressive. The choices of instruments, tempo and dynamics are left to the performer, but all rhythms are specifically notated and each duo involves two separate parts, each calling for four unspecified instruments. The composer specifies one instrument in each group to have a relatively long sustain and the other three to have a relative short sustain. In this recording, the selection of instruments was a collaborative effort by the composer, Daniel Levitan, and Files.
The variety of tone colors on this recording seems to run the gamut of percussion instruemtns, but the real musical insterest is the interplay of rhythms between the two parts. The first and last inventions suggest a driving grove played on a drumkit, but the second invention really brings out the distinction of separate voice lines. The third invention is in a basic 3/4 feel. The fourth invention suggests a far more gentle style with a transparent texture. The fifth invetion begins with a bright opening that moves into an interesting swing feel, and the sixth invention suggests a strong dance-like groove.
The recording quality is excellent and the stereo effect is particularly effective. The recording is great fun to listen to, and an excellent way to become familiar with these new works and to gather creative ideas as to interesting performance interpretations. The printed music is available from Keyboard Percussion Publications.”
— Michael Combs, Percussive Notes, March 2010