The Devil’s Handyman

Inspired by works of H. C. Westermann, sculptor.
* Spike Jones “was an American musician and bandleader specializing in spoof arrangements of popular songs and classical music. Ballads receiving the Jones treatment were punctuated with gunshots, whistles, cowbells and outlandish and comedic vocals.” — Wikipedia, “Spike Jones

Audio Excerpts

III. Machine Dedicated to Spike Jones * (20th Century Consort)
XI. Abandoned Death Ship of No Port with a List (20th Century Consort)

Press for “The Devil’s Handyman ”

“Thomas Albert’s ‘The Devil’s Handyman’ trumped even Spike Jones in offering swing music that won’t swing, deconstructed jingles and devastating parodies of musical form.”

– The Washington Post
“Albert’s eclectic piece concluded the evening strongly. A series of movements in response to bizarre and humorous sculptures by artist H. C. Westermann (which were projected on a screen), its descriptive music was often hilarious, in the manner of P.D.Q. Bach, including musicians vying with each other for control of a piece in one movement. Here, finally, the balance between theater and music was achieved.”

– Pittsburgh Post Gazette
“‘The Devil’s Handyman’ by Thomas Albert provided humor in the musical finale… from absurd percussion excesses to a silly “let’s get everyone involved” arrangement of Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Air on a G string.” Albert’s expressive range encompassed much more fun, including a brutal percussion ensemble number and ominous mists of sound.”

– Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Hirschhorn Museum of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, March 2002

20th Century Consort, Christopher Kendall, artistic director: Sara Stern, flutes; Paul Cigan, clarinets; Elisabeth Adkins, violin & viola; Rachel Young, cello; Tom Jones, percussion; Lisa Emenheiser, piano
Share this Page
Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top

?Who Stole the Polka?

Guy Klucevsek

1992, Eva Records – WWCX 2037

?Who Stole the Polka? is the second volume of pieces that accordionist Guy Klucevsek commissioned from composers ranging widely over the contemporary new music scene in the mid-’80s. 

Track 9A

“The Devil’s Polka”

Serenely Cedille

eighth blackbird

Cedille Records – CDR 8001

This new disc of calming classics, drawn from 16 different, acclaimed CDs in the Cedille Records catalog, consists of rare gems of relaxing classical music, ranging from symphony and concerto movements to solo piano, choral, and chamber works. 

Track 9

“Thirteen Ways” - Mvt. IV


Round Nut Tool

eighth blackbird

“Round Nut Tool is our debut CD! A mix of our favorite works from the 1998-99 season, including excerpt tracks from Thomas Albert’s Thirteen Ways. This CD was independently recorded in Warner Concert Hall, Oberlin College, Oberlin OH. Produced and recorded by Michael Schulze and Charles Dixon. Additional support provided by AT&T Research Labs.” 

Tracks 6-8

“Thirteen Ways” - Mvts. VI, XI, VIII

Purchase the CD

Eighth Blackbird - Thirteen Ways, Thomas Albert

Thirteen Ways

eighth blackbird

2003, Cedille Records
Thirteen Ways is Eighth Blackbird’s commercial recording debut album on Cedille Records, featuring music by four of America’s most gifted composers: David Schober (b. 1974), Thomas Albert (b. 1948), Joan Tower (b. 1938), and George Perle (b. 1915).
Tracks 12 – 24

“Thirteen Ways”

Purchase Download

Purchase the CD

Thomas Albert, Composer - A Maze (with Grace), Devil's Rain - Relâche

On Edge


1990, Mode Records – mode 22
Founded in Philadelphia in 1977, Relâche is devoted to the development and performance of contemporary music with an emphasis on works of an experimental nature.
Track 3

“A Maze (With Grace)”

Track 4

“Devil's Rain”


Thomas Albert, Night Music - Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble

Drunken Moon/Night Music

Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble

2007, Lime Green Productions
Two engaging, imaginative and accessible works are featured on this disk of commissions from our 30th Anniversary Season.
(Tracks 11 – 17)

“Night Music”

Purchase Download

Purchase the CD