Piece of Cake


for 5 to 32 instrumentalists (1992-2008)
2 minutes | no.8

This two minute titbit is in fact a birthday cake, cut into thirty-two parts, of which at least five must be served at the same event. All parts were presented at birthday occasions, such as for Brian Ferneyhough, my teacher in composition, for John Cage, my spiritual master, and for Aldo Clementi, my guide to reaching pure simplicity. The parts were made for various ensembles, among which Percussion Group The Hague, the Ives Ensemble, and the Nieuw Ensemble.


Any selection of 5 parts or more (all unconducted) from the complete set:

piccolo, alto flute, bass flute, oboe, English horn
E-flat clarinet, B-flat clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon
trumpet, trombone 1, trombone 2, trombone 3
percussion 1 (crotales)
percussion 2 (tubular bells)
percussion 3 (vibraphone)
percussion 4 (Thai gongs)
percussion 5 (timpani I)
percussion 6 (timpani II),
harp, piano 1, piano 2,
violin 1, 2, 3, viola 1, 2, 3, cello 1, 2, 3, double bass

Commissioned by

Percussion Group The Hague, Nieuw Ensemble,
Ives Ensemble, Festival Pontino (Sermoneta),
Ensemble A Piacere


19 June 1992
Dr. Anton Philipszaal, The Hague (Netherlands)
Percussion Group The Hague

Score Picture

Score Excerpts