Perkusi is Indonesian for percussive, which is precisely how this short piece for solo flute should be performed. A myriad of techniques including slap tonguing and detailed articulation are used to evoke rhythms of drum kits and jazz solos. A lively rubato feel and an improvised rhythm section add to this mood, alongside the use of uneven numbers of bars at time (for example, five in the introduction) which creates an unstable feeling.
The piece opens with a jazzy yet relatively traditional introductory section, before swiftly heading into the main rhythmic drum pattern complete with tongue slaps mimicking the bass drum. After a few repetitions of the beat, an octatonic variation is introduced alongside a variety of fills and extended technique such as breathy tones and key slaps. The second section is lighter than the first, featuring singing whilst playing and more relaxed rhythms, leading onto a section in free tempo. The piece then shifts in tonality, revisiting the introduction and the first section and exploring both major and octatonic variations of the melodic line.
Perkusi is a lively, energetic piece that will challenge the flautist. It demonstrates a rhythmic, jazzy side to the flute that is often neglected in unaccompanied repertoire. Whilst it incorporates a range of contemporary extended techniques, it is also accessible to a wide audience. It is approximately 1’50” in length.