Von Hansen

Percussionist, Composer, Educator


TO Purchase scores contact von@vonhansenmusic.com 


One for the Land 2015 (Piano and fixed media )

Emily Grabinski requested a love letter to Cleveland through the voice of the King of Cleveland Lebron James. Audio from Lebron James Mic'd up During Game 2 vs Hawks is sliced up into an athletic, hard-grooving duo for pianist and Lebron. Commissioned by Emily Grabinski

Performance video

It’s Like the Nothing Never Was 2013 (Any instrument and computer )

This work is meant to encourage interaction between performer and computer by creating an electroacoustic soundscape without the use of prerecorded material. The performer is given guidelines and is encouraged to engage the randomized computer processing through improvisation.

PErformance directions

Multiple Percussion Realization video

 Cello Realization video (Kivie Cahn-Lipman performer)

Suite for Prepared Vibraphone 2010 (Prepared Vibraphone)

Suite for Prepared Vibraphone is a series of pieces composed for a vibraphone with various objects affixed to or placed between the bars. This composition was inspired by John Cage’s Sonatas and Interludes for prepared piano (1946-1948). Similar to Cage’s work I strived to make a multi-moment work in which the feel of each movement is a drastically different. The idea of creating angular, articulate music, introspective resonant music and intensely aggressive music from the same set of preparations was an exciting challenge.

PURCHASE Published by C. Alan Publications

Oblique, Transcendent, Incessant Performance video

Life is Sweet on the Edge of a Razor Performance video

Chamber Music

Luminous Vortices 2018 (Percussion Quartet and Electronics)

The original composition is written for an all glass instrumentation (glass marimbas, glass gongs, glass udu drums, glass prayer bowls and more) that RELA percussion created as a residency with the Toledo Museum of Art. This unique instrumentation is processed live creating a ever-evolving soundscape that swirls and engulfs the audience in rich textures.

Though the original instrumentation is for glass percussion this piece can be played on traditional percussion instruments.

Commissioned by RELA Percussion

Performance Directions

Performance video

The Breaks 2017 (Percussion Quintet and Fixed Track)

Inspired by the IDM music of artists such as Squarepusher and Venetian Snares, The Breaks has relentless energy and gritty break beats played on prepared drums (frying pans, tambourines, cymbals, etc. placed on the drums) marimba and vibraphone. The live instruments are accompanied by an electronic track that would fit in at a stadium full of glow sticks and a DJ with a psychedelic raccoon head.

Commissioned by Washburn Rural High School


Even This Will Change 2017 (24 Percussionists)

Written for the 2017 Kansas Lion Band percussion section, Even this Will Pass has 24 unique parts that interlock to create a melody on tuned pipes and desk bells and a groove played on drums and junk percussion. All parts have very simple rhythms that when combined create a complex texture. This piece is very easy to learn and very rewarding when complete. This would be a great piece for beginning to intermediate percussion players.


Performance Video

Fresh Frozen Plasma 2015 (12 percussionists)

Piles of grooves in uncommon meters have never felt so good. Drum and bass percussion mixed with crunchy keyboard chords and textures galore from the percussion section create an exiting and challenging groove based ensemble.

Commissioned by Skiatook High School


Now 2011 (percussion sextet)

Based on the “Clock of the Long Now” this piece represents time on a long scale.

Commissioned by the Washburn Percussion Collective


Lenses 2010 (harp and four percussionists)

Based on a poem by Jim Carroll, antiphonal percussionists playing hand crank music boxes, buckets of water, prayer bowls and various other percussion instruments accompany a harp soloist to evoke a lush dreamscape.


Ad Astra 2008 (mallet sextet)

The opening gains a great deal of its influence from Steve Reich’s Nagoya Marimbas in the sense that all of the instruments blend amorphously to form a single sound rather than emphasizing any one instrument.  By using composite rhythms and changes in time signature the sense of a down beat is masked until specific points within the piece. The central section of this piece contains a greater exploration of texture.  The melodic interest weaves its way through the ensemble while still keeping the sense of the musical “sets.”  During this section the intensity is greatly increased leading up to the first unison passage of the piece.  From this point there is a series of sections which move between six person amorphous texture and the weaving melodic material.  This creates an increase in tension which builds to an unexpected end.

Commissioned by the Washburn Percussion Collective

PURCHASE Published by C. Alan Publications

Performance video

Evolve 2007 (five percussionists and piano)

Evolve is a multi-movement work which is played without a break between movements.  This composition was written in 2007 during the height of the Iraq war, when the aggressive nature of war and the struggle for power was more apparent than any other time in my life.  The poetry which follows should guide the listener through this scene.


I. In the Beginning Her Tears Were the Long Awaited Rains

The beginning of the world, of life.  

Primordial ooze bubbles and teems with activity.  

The future is uncertain.  All is at ease.

II. The Best of Man is Like Water

Man appears from the uncertainty.  Life is harmony.  

There is no hate, no war, only life and curiosity.  

III. Some Say the World Will End in Fire

Man’s curiosity leads him to create.  Fire is a necessity. 

Harmony begins to deteriorate.  

Life is a struggle to hold the fire.

IV. Immense Power Cannot be Terrorized

The struggle leads to more vicious creations.  

War is the norm.  Life is chaos.  

The future is dismal.  

V. Sunlight is a Lie

The ultimate form of destruction is created.  

Bombs rain from the sky like tears.  

The fire is extinguished.  

Man’s future ends here.

VI. Whispers of Immortality

From destruction comes resurrection.  

The future is uncertain.  All is at ease.

Bazaar Cattle Crossing 2006 (Marimba and vibraphone duet)

Extensive 16th based patterns are mixed to create an exciting, groovy duo.


Large Ensemble

Guitar Breath 2016 (Middle school band and fixed track)

Unleash your students inner rock star with a piece that is just a whole pile of fun for young players.

Commissioned by Ross Elementary School and Eisenhower Middle School Combined Band

Performance Notes and Perusal Score

Ice 9 2010 (wind ensemble)

Ice 9 is a moto perpetuo piece with a relentless driving energy and angular melodic movement.  The piece obtains a great deal of it’s interest through manipulation of rhythm, rapid changes in meter, and exploration of minimalism.  The pitch set for this piece is primarily based on an octatonic scale with a large emphasis place on quartal harmony which creates dissonances that help to intensify the tension which is created by the rhythmic drive.  There is also a large focus on unison figures using varied instrumentations to create interesting textures.  The title of this piece comes from the Kurt Vonnegut book Cat’s Cradle in which  scientist creates a molecule of water which freezes at 130 degrees (ice 9).  The molecule is eventually dropped into the ocean freezing the all water on earth.  This piece will keep you on the edge of your seat.


Shel 2008 (choir and two percussionists)

Poetry from Shel Silverstien’s Where the Sidewalk Ends set with marimba, vibraphone and drums.

Fixed Media

Welcome to the United States 2010 (electroacoustic soundscape)

A cynical look at America through a dirty magnifying glass.


November Site 2009 (electroacoustic soundscape)

A journey through Gordon Sherman’s Painting November Site.

November Site- Gordon Sherman

November Site- Gordon Sherman

Interactive Electronics


MapMusik 2018

Interactive sound installation and compositions


Shared Shadow 2015

Interactive musical video game

Commissioned by Harvester Arts


Sound Shadow 2014

Interactive sound installation

Commissioned by The Spencer Art Museum