Percussion Concerto was commissioned by, and is dedicated to, Graeme Leak who gave its first performance at the University of Western Australia in September 1987. It was devised in two versions: one for soloist with tape accompaniment and the other accompanied by orchestra. Although the tape version "mimics" the orchestral accompaniment, no attempt was made to imitate orchestral tone colours, and it stands as a work in its own right.
The solo part is designed to highlight the virtuosic dexterity required for performance on multiple percussion instruments as well as to demonstrate most of the sonorities available to a solo percussionist. Since it was devised with tape accompaniment in mind, most of the rhythmic cues derive from the accompaniment. The challenge here was to make it seem as though the soloist is leading the accompaniment even though there is no way in the world this would be possible.