Between Rock & A Hard Place

Plugged & Unplugged

Ciro Scotto composer
John Cage composer
Dan Senn composer

McCormick Percussion Group
Robert McCormick director
Corey Harvin guitar

Release Date: January 13, 2015
Catalog #: RR7898
Format: Digital & Physical
21st Century

Presenting contemporary works that blend multiple genres, from classical and avant-garde to heavy metal and world music, the McCormick Percussion Group, hailed as “a very skilled and important contemporary percussion ensemble” by Audiophile Audition, expands the boundaries and possibilities of the percussion ensemble’s repertoire on their latest Ravello Records release BETWEEN ROCK & A HARD PLACE.

The title track, composed by Ciro Scotto, is a four-movement work that coalesces heavy metal and contemporary classical conventions, highlighting the connections between these two different yet similarly technical worlds of composition. Between Rock and a Hard Place-Unplugged substitutes electric and electronic instruments for classical guitar, contrabass, cello, and piano. Scotto says of his inspiration for this acoustic version, “Exploring the parallel dimension concept in Between Rock and a Hard Place-Unplugged allowed me to recompose the piece following ideas that did not develop in the original, so the new work is a complete rethinking and exploration of the material.”


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Artist Information

McCormick Percussion Group


The McCormick Percussion Group is recognized by critics and composers throughout the world for their unique recordings and interpretations of music decidedly outside of the mainstream. MPG often collaborates with other non-percussion musicians to explore and develop new trends of compositional thought. Among the most recorded ensembles of the genre, MPG has recorded many award winning albums for Ravello Records (dist. by Naxos). To ensure the original intent of each work, composers are often invited to rehearse with the ensemble and supervise recording sessions. Under the direction of Robert McCormick, MPG is a resident ensemble at the University of South Florida in Tampa.

Robert McCormick


Robert McCormick is currently Professor of Music at the University of South Florida in Tampa. He served as principal percussionist/assistant timpanist with the Florida Orchestra for 20 seasons. He is a former member of the Harry Partch Ensemble and often performs and records with high profile artists of all genres. In 2010, he conducted the premiere performance of Chan Hae Lee’s Korean folk opera Simcheongga at the National Center of Performing Arts in Seoul. In March 2014 McCormick performed the world premiere of Baljinder Sekhon’s Double Percussion Concerto at Carnegie Hall with percussionist Lee Hinkle. McCormick was the 2006 recipient of the Florida Music Educator of the Year Award; the 2007 Grand Prize in the Keystone Percussion Composition Award; the 2010 University Distinguished Teacher Award; and the 2015 Percussive Arts Society Lifetime Achievement in Education Award. He has also received several Global Music Awards for his albums, many of which are published on the Ravello Records label and distributed by Naxos. McCormick proudly endorses Encore Mallets, Grover Pro Percussion, and Zildjian Cymbals.