In February 2009 I was asked by Mike Nowicki to write a cello and piano piece for his son, who was going to have the honor of turning thirteen come November. While brainstorming certain titles a thirteen-year-old boy would like, I initially came up with nothing, but obtaining some suggestions (like “Laser Velociraptors and the Exploding Ninjas of DOOM”), I whittled it down to 88 Exploding Ninjas. What’s the 88 for? This does not represent the 88 keys on the piano. I used an octatonic scale, but more importantly, this title is in reference to The Crazy 88, the group of assassins who were employed to help O-Ren take control of the Tokyo underworld.