The new Performing Arts Center has proven to be an inspiring addition to UCF’s campus—so inspiring that the UCF Music Department and professor Thad Anderson commissioned a percussion piece dedicated to the new building. The piece is called “Flying Tones.”

Working with composer Zack Browning of the University of Illinois, Anderson and a group of percussion majors premiered the unique piece that then became part of a compilation on a CD titled Secret Pulse. Other artists joining the UCF Percussion Ensemble include well-known groups such as the Cadillac Moon Ensemble and the JACK Quartet.

Secret Pulse was recently released by Innova Recordings, an independent music label. Some of the label’s previous artists and albums have gone on to be nominated for and win Pulitzer Prizes, as well as GRAMMY and Emmy awards.

Once the piece was composed, Browning came to campus to work with the ensemble on tweaking the music and preparing for the premiere and recording.

“Zach came in a few days before the event and we got to workshop the piece,” Anderson says. “We made specific instrument choices—for instance, he asked for metal sounds, so we would try different metallic objects like brake drums, pots, and bell plates.”

Thad especially enjoys this pre-performance collaboration. “Once the composer creates a new piece, it is the performers job to interpret the music and present it to an audience, he says. “Having the opportunity to work closely with a composer prior to the initial performance is where the real collaboration happens. It’s an opportunity to put yourself into a piece a music before anyone else gets a chance to.”

Want to hear the piece?

Visit the SoundCloud link for “Flying Tones” here.

Want to watch the original performance?

You can see the entire concert on UCF’s YouTube site at this link–“Flying Tones” starts at about 14:25.

Or, you could always just go see it live.

Go visit the “Florida Day of Percussion’ in Tampa on March 24th and watch the UCF Percussion Ensemble perform the piece live.