• Drum Set and Percussion Setups from Musical Theater and More

The Landing - Off Broadway - Greg Landes

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Greg Landes’ setup for The Landing at the Vineyard Theatre in New York City.

“…as the music slowly dribbled in I could see this was going to be a very challenging percussion book.”

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“I was asked by musical supervisor David Loud to come on board for a brand new show that had been gestating for the last few years at The Vineyard Theatre in NYC by the legendary John Kander and his new writing partner Greg Pierce. I was told it would involve a lot of mallet playing including marimba, vibes, xylophone etc, with some percussion as well. Larry Hochman was orchestrating. As the music slowly dribbled in I could see this was going to be a very challenging percussion book. Once we got into rehearsals it was a huge challenge to quickly negotiate and figure out how I was going to play everything. My experiences with my piano and percussion duo, Synchronicity, were invaluable in figuring out the best setup and choreography to accomplish successfully playing the demanding parts.

The set up includes: 4.3 octave marimba, vibraphone, xylophone, glockenspiel, crotales, temple blocks, bass drum, snare drum, assorted cymbals, Mark tree, fight bell and of course 2 triangles outfitted on Miller Machines. The use of the Miller Machines was absolutely imperative for performing this show. At any given time I am playing with 4 xylophone mallets, 2 yarn mallets and 2 bell mallets in my hands or 2 snare drum sticks and a bell mallet in my hands. The use of a small violin bow on the vibraphone made for a very beautiful and haunting effect needed in the 3rd part of the show. Larry Hochman left the execution of his orchestrations in my hands which required some fancy hand and footwork to accomplish.

The show was scored for cello, woodwinds, piano and percussion and four cast members. It was highly exposed chamber music and made for a beautifully intimate exchange between stage and orchestra and a very unique theatre experience. I have never performed a show or percussion book like this in my 20+ years working in the NYC theatre world and it was a thrilling, inspiring and joyful experience for me.”

Greg endorses both Paiste Cymbals and Innovative Percussion.

November 2013

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11/7/18