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“Torched and Wrecked” by David Skidmore


“Torched and Wrecked” by David Skidmore

Performed by Third Coast Percussion

Mallet Selection for this Piece:


Robert van Sice Signature (M114)

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Medium. The most popular model in the series, this mallet covers the entire range of the marimba and produces a singing sound that is full of life.


Contemporary Series (M242)

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Hard. A bold mallet that provides outstanding projection and clarity.


Ensemble Series (M153)

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Medium. Great for the middle register. A very versatile mallet. Latex thickness = 1/16"


“Torched and Wrecked” is part of a series of pieces entitled “Aliens with Extraordinary Abilities,” a cycle of works exploring a common idea: that the same piece of music can move at several different speeds at the same time. An electronic audio track – David’s most intensive work with electronic composition to date – expands and reinforces the live percussion in many of these works. Each piece in the series takes its names from a memorable Third Coast Percussion touring experience or inside joke.



David Skidmore is a percussionist, composer, and musical entrepreneur. David is a dedicated advocate for the music of our time, having commissioned, premiered, and performed dozens of new works by many of the great composers of the 20th and 21st century.

In 2005, David co-founded Third Coast Percussion, an ensemble that has performed hundreds of concerts across the country, presents an annual concert season at home in Chicago, teaches musicians of all ages and experience levels, and has commissioned dozens of new works by composers including David T. Little, Timo Andres, Donnacha Dennehy, Chris Cerrone, Marcos Balter, Ted Hearne, Glenn Kotche and Augusta Read Thomas. Called “vibrant” and “superb” by Alex Ross of The New Yorker, Third Coast Percussion was named Ensemble-in-Residence at the University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center in 2013 and the ensemble received its first Grammy Award in 2017.

David was the percussionist with the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble from 2007 to 2011, and has been a member of New York-based chamber orchestra Ensemble Signal since 2007. David served for 2 years as a fellow in the Academy – a Program of Carnegie Hall, the Juilliard School and the Weill Music Institute. Through this fellowship, David performed concerts in Carnegie Hall and other venues throughout New York City, and he was a teaching artist in residence at a public school in Ozone Park, Queens.

David has performed and collaborated with many of the world’s finest musicians including conductors Pierre Boulez, Lorin Maazel, David Robertson, and Michael Tilson Thomas, composers Augusta Read Thomas, Steve Reich, Steve Mackey, Matthias Pintscher, and Peter Eötvos, and chamber ensemble eighth blackbird. David has performed as a soloist in Europe, Asia, and the United States. David has also performed as a member of the Lucerne Festival Academy, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the Pacific Music Festival, and the National Repertory Orchestra.

David’s compositions are performed regularly in concert halls and universities across the country. In 2011, his multi-movement work Common Patterns in Uncommon Times was commissioned from Frank Lloyd Wright scholar Sidney K. Robinson to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of Taliesin, home of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture. In May of 2007 his piece, Unknown Kind, was premiered at Carnegie Hall. He has also received commissions from the Rush Hour Concert Series in Chicago, and leading percussion soloists and pedagogues including Mark Ford (University of North Texas), Dr. John Parks (Florida State University), Omar Carmenates (Furman University), Dr. T. Adam Blackstock (Troy University), and Peter Martin. David was awarded 1st prize in the 2005 Percussive Arts Society Composition Contest and 2nd prize in the 2004 contest.

David taught for four years on the percussion faculty at the Peabody Conservatory, from 2009 to 2013. He currently resides in Chicago where he works full-time as a performer and Executive Director with Third Coast Percussion.

David received the Bachelor of Music degree from the Northwestern University School of Music and the Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music. His teachers have included Robert Van Sice, Michael Burritt, James Ross, Shawn Schietroma, and Michael Hernandez.


Third Coast Percussion is a Grammy Award-winning, artist-run quartet of classically-trained percussionists hailing from the great city of Chicago. For over ten years, the ensemble has forged a unique path in the musical landscape with virtuosic, energetic performances that celebrate the extraordinary depth and breadth of musical possibilities in the world of percussion. The ensemble has been praised for “commandingly elegant” (New York Times) performances, the “rare power” (Washington Post) of their recordings, and “an inspirational sense of fun and curiosity” (Minnesota Star-Tribune). The four members of Third Coast are also accomplished teachers, and since 2013, have served as ensemble-in-residence at the University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.

A direct connection with the audience is at the core of all of Third Coast Percussion’s work, whether the musicians are speaking from the stage about a new piece of music, inviting the audience to play along in a concert or educational performance, or inviting their fans around the world to create new music using one of their free mobile apps.

Third Coast Percussion maintains a busy touring schedule, with past performances in 32 of the 50 states plus Canada, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Poland, and venues ranging from concert halls at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and De Doelen to clubs and alternative performance spaces such as New York’s Le Poisson Rouge and the National Gallery’s West Garden Court.

The quartet’s curiosity and eclectic taste have led to a series of unlikely collaborations that have produced exciting new art. The ensemble has worked with engineers at the University of Notre Dame, architects at the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, dancers at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and musicians from traditions ranging from the mbira music of Zimbabwe’s Shona people, to indie rockers, to some of the world’s leading concert musicians.

A commission for a new work from composer Augusta Read Thomas in 2012 led to the realization that commissioning new musical works can be – and should be – as collaborative as any other artistic partnership. Through extensive workshopping and close contact with composers, Third Coast Percussion has commissioned and premiered new works from Donnacha Dennehy, Glenn Kotche, Lei Liang, Gavin Bryars, Christopher Cerrone, Timo Andres, Marcos Balter, Ted Hearne, and today’s leading up-and-coming composers through their Emerging Composers Partnership Program. These works have become part of the ensemble’s core repertoire and seen hundreds of performances across North America and throughout Europe.

Third Coast Percussion’s recordings include three full-length albums, three EPs, and a number of appearances on other releases. The quartet has put its stamp on iconic percussion works by John Cage and Steve Reich, and Third Coast has also created first recordings of commissioned works by Augusta Read Thomas, David T. Little, and Ted Hearne, in addition to recordings of the ensemble’s own compositions. In 2017 the ensemble won a Grammy award for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble performance for their recording of Steve Reich’s works for percussion.

Third Coast Percussion has always maintained strong ties to the vibrant artistic community in their hometown of Chicago. They have collaborated with Chicago institutions such as Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and the Adler Planetarium, performed at the grand opening of Maggie Daley Children’s Park, conducted residencies at the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, created multi-year collaborative projects with Chicago-based composers Augusta Read Thomas, Glenn Kotche, and chamber ensemble Eighth Blackbird, and taught tens of thousands of students through partnerships with Urban Gateways, the People’s Music School, the Chicago Park District, Rush Hour Concerts, and others.

The four members of Third Coast Percussion met while studying percussion music at Northwestern University. Members of Third Coast also hold degrees from the Eastman School of Music, Rutgers University, the New England Conservatory, and the Yale School of Music. Stay up-to-date and go behind-the-scenes by following Third Coast on Twitter (@ThirdCoastPerc), Facebook (@Third Coast Percussion), and Instagram (@ThirdCoastPercussion).

*Third Coast Percussion is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization.


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