The Gilded Cage was written in 1998 for the Northwestern Doctoral Percussion Quartet’s European appearances in Wurtzburg, Germany and at the RhythmSticks Percussion Festival in London, England. The title is a combination of two separate sources; the 19th century popular song The Girl in the Gilded Cage, and the 20th century percussion ensemble work Third Construction by John Cage. There are numerous influences from Cage’s notable piece, including an early quote of the opening theme, here divided between the four performers and played on tom-toms. The “cage” theme is further exhibited in the way the performers create a constantly evolving visual cage with their sticks.
Player I: high tom-tom, high brake drum, splash cymbal
Player II: medium high tom-tom, medium high brake drum, splash cymbal
Player III: medium tom-tom, medium brake drum, pedal bass drum
Player IV: low tom-tom, low brake drum, china cymbal