Fear Cage

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Kirk J. Gay

General Info

Year of Publication: 2009
Publisher: Tapspace
Level: Intermediate
Duration: 00:07:00
Cost: $25.00


"Fear Cage" is a term used by paranormal researchers to describe a confined space with high electromagnetic field (EMF) readings. In these areas, one who is sensitive to such phenomena can feel uneasiness, paranoia, anxiety, nausea, and uncontrollable fear.

Written by Kirk J. Gay for two players enclosed within a circle (or cage) of 9 timpani, Fear Cage is a dramatic piece which uses a variety of effects to set a dark tone. Stationed back to back, the performers sometimes cross into each other's territory, ultimately rotating around the circle of drums and trading positions while playing. Unique textures such as bowed crotales and a prayer bowl on top of timpani heads provide a perfect complement to the included audio soundscape which runs throughout the piece. Several moments of free improvisation are called for as well. This is a timpani feature sure to leave its mark on your next concert.


Player 1: Crotales (low G and high D crotales) & 4 timpani (32", 29", 26", 23")
Player 2: 5 timpani (32", 29", 26", 23", 20") & Accessories (bass bow, brass rice bowl or Tibetan prayer bowl, bamboo wind chimes)


Jim Lamber's Writing: This timpani duet with CD audio accompaniment will challenge the performance skills of a mature pair of timpanists. This seven-minute composition has an “atmosphere” CD track that both starts and ends this unique piece. Metrically, the composition maintains a 4/4 meter throughout, and the overall melodic content centers around a g-minor tonality. There is just enough independent musical dialogue between the two timpanists for a satisfying musical experience. This duet is appropriate for a junior or senior undergraduate percussion recital. [1]

Recent Performance

Performed by Jonathan Cooper and Kirk J. Gay

Books for Percussion by this Composer

Gay, Kirk J. Pedal to the Kettle. Portland, OR: Tapspace Publications, LLC, 2009.

Works for Percussion by this Composer

Fear Cage
Mysterious Barrier
Overture for Timpani


  1. Percussive Notes Volume 48, No. 4, July 2010