Paul Alan Barker, Composer


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Stone Song/Stone Dance
4 Quartets in 3 Movements
The Return of Mullock
Songs Men Don't Hear

Stone Song; Stone Dance
For 4 players with stones;
commissioned by Tambuco Percussion Ensemble, Mexico, 2000;
performed internationally.
Tambuco playing Stone Song/Stone Dance,
Barcelona, Spain; April, 2012, drawn by Pedro Strukelj
From Wochi Kochi Magazine
Erasing Borderlines with Music:The Tambuco Percussion Ensemble in Japan
Mari Ohashi: music journalist


The ensemble came to center stage for the first time and stood in a line to play the fourth number, Stone, Song, Stone Dance, composed in 2000 by British born Paul Barker, the only European composer on the program. With a stone in each hand (although I'm not sure stone is the appropriate word), three players stood with their hands at chest level, striking or rubbing the stones together, and swinging their arms up over their heads in wide arcs. While they made the stones sing, the fourth player accompanied the music with bells.


 The next instant, the meditative, mystical atmosphere was transformed when all four members simultaneously broke into a furious rhythm, "the stone dance." Solo performances were interwoven into the flawless ensemble performance, displaying Tambuco's unbelievable precision, masterly technique, and flashes of humor (at one point, they even played Mozart on the stones!) Who could have imagined that such subtle and diverse sound could be produced from stones, and that it could even become music? The audience was astounded and delighted to have seen and heard something truly original.

SEE A PERFORAMANCE: Tambuco performing Stone Song; Stone Dance at Kennedy Centre for Performing Arts, NY, Friday, November 19, 2010 (scroll down page to Tambuco)

4 Quartets in 3 Movements
Commssioned by Mexican percussion ensemble Tambuco
premiered by them at the Festival Cervantino, Guadalajara, Mexico.
recorded on CD (“Tambuco” Quindecim OP - 004), 1995.
4 percussionists and 19 drums
ca. 15 minutes.

Romatz in K

Listen to Romatz in K, excerpt from 4 Quartets in 3 Movements
The Return of MullockPB/RGMulloch.jpg
Solo tenor steel pan, ca. 12 mins. 
premiered by Ricardo Gallardo,
September 19, 1992;
Commissioned by Colourscape
at Nettlefold Festival
with funds from LAB.


Solo + percussion
Songs Men Don’t Hear
3 songs for mezzo and percussion
Commissioned by the new music forum in Mexico.
Performed by Maria Huesca and Diego Espinoza.
Recomposed from the opera, The Marriages Between Zones 3, 4 & 5 (1985, rev. 2002)


Songs Men Don't Hear