An average video-gamer is mysteriously transported into a quasi-fantasy role-playing game. The gamer (i.e., percussionist) journeys across various landscapes, discovers instruments (i.e., weapons), trains with an electronic tutor, engages in battle, dialogues with a digital bird, and challenges a menacing dragon. With each encounter and experience, the gamer grows in strength and skill, eventually triumphing over every challenge and basking in epic victory.

Act I. Novice

On a rainy Saturday morning, a video-gamer turns on their system to play a favorite game—but something is wrong. The system malfunctions and transports the gamer into the machine. The gamer explores the new surroundings, discovers new instruments, and excitedly plays with the retro theme music.

Act II. Training

Suddenly, the music stops. The gamer is confused and frustrated. But gradually, new sounds emerge, and the gamer improvises alongside the cyclic, arcade-type music. The gamer gains confidence while exploring new grooves and rhythms. After a while, the electronics insist on intensive training. The gamer mimics the gestures with focus and precision. The gamer is then surprised by a loud noise which hints at approaching danger. The tension builds until…

Act III. Mini-Boss

A formidable opponent appears and engages the gamer in battle. After exchanging jabs, the gamer delivers a powerful blow—the enemy falls with a crash.

Act IV. The Journey

Victorious but exhausted after the battle, the gamer sits to rest. The gentle breeze and sounds of nature are punctuated by sounds from a mysterious electronic bird that descends from the sky. It opens a dialogue, conversing with the gamer through music. The bird explains that a fierce dragon in a nearby cave must be defeated. The gamer agrees to help and follows the bird as it flies toward the dragon’s lair.

Act V. The Cave

The gamer arrives at the dark, mysterious cave then cautiously explores the rocks and echoing surfaces with quiet improvisation. The gamer finds a sword and sharpens it on a nearby rock. A distant growl freezes the gamer with fear. As the gamer continues to sharpen the blade, the growls become more and more prominent until…

Act VI. End-Boss

A massive dragon suddenly appears and attacks. The gamer dodges the attack and fights back with fierce intensity. As the battle progresses, the dragon makes a series of charges. The gamer deflects each blow with a well-placed shield. However, the dragon eventually unleashes it’s most fierce attack, knocking the gamer to the floor. The wound is mortal—the gamer swoons… As the gamer lies motionless, the mysterious bird returns, descending from above. The bird’s singing revives the gamer, who slowly rises. The gamer, with newfound strength, reengages in battle with the dragon. The gamer eventually lands a significant blow—the dragon’s heart starts pounding, and it’s breathing becomes labored. The dragon becomes weaker and weaker, then collapses as if dead. As the relieved gamer walks away, the dragon rises and attacks again. The gamer retaliates by pouring every ounce of energy into an ultimate attack. With a tremendous growl the beast collapses—dead.

Act VII. Postlude

The gamer exits the dark, damp cave by climbing into the bright, green landscape. The gamer, now a hero, struts with confidence and happiness. The bird returns and joins in the celebration. As the music swells to a climax, the gamer is suddenly transported out of the game. Confused and disoriented, the gamer looks around cautiously. The gamer notices a buzzing sound and slowly approaches the game console. Then, with a sense of wonder, bewilderment, and wistful contemplation, the gamer turns the game off.

Score Sample




40 minutes


3 Woodblocks/Temple Blocks
2 Metal Cans/Cups
1 Metal Bowl
1 Suspended Cymbal
2 Bongos
2 Cow Bells
2 Clay Bowls
1 Kick Drum
1 Bass Drum


The Journey
The Cave


Diego Alfonso


October 13, 2023
College of the Ozarks
Point Lookout, MO
Diego Alfonso (perc.)


October 15, 2023
Drury University
Springfield, MO
Diego Alfonso (perc.)

October 19, 2023
Missouri State University
Springfield, MO
Diego Alfonso (perc.)


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