Beauty & Ruin

Duration: 8:36

Difficulty: ★★★★☆

Released: 2020

Players: (3) 2 percussionists + electric guitar

Purchase PDF Sheet Music

(written for Neil McNulty + Jean Carlo Ureña Gonzalez

About “Beauty & Ruin”

“BEAUTY & RUIN” is a trio for two percussionists + electric guitar to be performed as three attacca movements.

The two multi-percussion setups are identical, but Player 3’s instruments should be lower in pitch. Each setup includes: (1) snare drum [drum kit or concert], (1) floor tom [or kick drum mounted so that the batter head is facing upwards], (1) metal object.

While not specified in the score, the electric guitarist should feel free to include effects (ex. overdrive, chorus, delay, etc.) as they see fit.

Structurally, “BEAUTY & RUIN” is inspired by the percussion music of Steve Reich: three attacca movements organized as ‘fast-slow-fast.’ Musically, “BEAUTY & RUIN” is inspired by the music of Steve Reich and by 1990’s alternative rock music – specifically that of Dinosaur Jr., Sugar, and Bob Mould. The title, “BEAUTY & RUIN,” is also a reference to Bob Mould’s 2014 album of the same name.

The two percussion parts create a stereo effect throughout much of the piece, so it is recommended that the percussion setups are staged facing each other with the electric guitarist between them, facing the audience.

“BEAUTY & RUIN” is great for students looking for a dramatic chamber piece that blurs the line between contemporary percussion and alternative rock music.

*guitar sheet music is included as both Guitar Tab + Standard Notation


Duration: 4 minutes

Difficulty: ★★★☆☆

Released: 2020.05.27

Players: (1) 3-5 cymbals, hi-hat, 3 drums, kick drum + electronic playback

Purchase PDF Sheet Music

“RUN” was originally written for Duo Cortona as a duo for voice + violin and won the Duo Cortona Composition Competition at the 2018 Cortona Sessions for New Music. In early 2019, “RUN” was re-imagined as an electronic/pop song. Later that year, this electronic version became the backing track for the most recent version of “RUN”: drum kit + electronic playback.

“RUN” is great for students familiar with drum kit that are looking to explore multi-percussion music, students familiar with multi-percussion looking to explore drum kit music, and students looking to explore electro-acoustic music.

The percussion setup for “RUN” can be modified and exploration with different sounds and instruments is HIGHLY encouraged.

The key elements of the setup are:

  • (3) drums [tuned to different pitches]
  • (3) cymbals/resonant metals [tuned to different pitches]
  • (1) hi-hat
  • (1) kick drum

“RUN” is intended to be performed without a
click track.

– electronic playback [.wav] is included with
purchase of the score.

Below are the lyrics to the original voice + violin version of “Run”

running back // through the field, you don’t know it

in the town // where I was born

in the skies // of your memories

can you see it? // is it burning hot?

in the city? // dying, burning, rot?

running // fire // flashing // burning // in the city

flashing // fire // throwing smoke into the air

smoke fills the sky // running out of time

burning brighter // for fear // fighter

running out // sky of cloud

running faster // burning brighter // fear or fighter

unknowing // running // it hits // the flame // deep inside

flame and ash // where it sticks // no sleeping here // tonight

darker than it // you would know

running out of your time // running out of your time

running out of your time // running out of your mind


your time running // your time running

and goes up in smoke

“RUN” was premiered by Clark Hubbard on January 30th, 2020 in Ann Arbor, MI.

“RUN” (original version) was premiered by Duo Cortona on June 1st, 2018 in Cortona, Italy.