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Christopher Rouse

General Info

Year: 1978
Duration: c. 5:00
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Helicon
Cost: Score and Parts - $0.00   |   Score Only - $0.00


Player I:
Player II:
Player III:
Player IV:

Program Notes

KU-KA-ILIMOKU was commissioned by the Syracuse Symphony Percussion Ensemble, and is written for four “multi-percussion” setups using a total of 54 percussion instruments. Composer Rouse writes: “In Hawaiian mythology, KU is perhaps the most fundamental and important gods, occupying a place similar to that of Zeus in Greek mythology or Odin in Norse legend. KU is manifested in several forms: as KU-KA-ILIMOKU he represents the god of war. Thus, this work for percussion ensemble is best viewed as a savage, propulsive war dance.” The work has an intense level of ferocity with underlying rhythmic inflection and variation. Composer Christopher Rouse was the Pulitzer Prize in 1993. The New York Times has called his music “some of the most anguished, memorable music around.” Rouse has been on faculty at the Eastman School of Music and is currently on the composition faculty at The Juilliard School. Stephen Wigler of The Baltimore Sun has written: “When the music history of the late 20th century is written, I suspect the explosive and passionate music of Rouse will loom large.”




Commercial Discography

Online Recordings

Recent Performances

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Works for Percussion by this Composer

Bonham - Percussion Octet
Falcones Luminis - Percussion Quartet
Der gerettete Alberich - Multiple Percussion; Orchestra
Ku-Ka-Ilimoku - Percussion Quartet
Mime - Snare Drum
Ogoun Badagris - Percussion Quintet

Additional Resources