Players: (4) percussion/mallet instruments
(dedicated to the Vanderbilt Percussion Group)
Scintillation: the process of emitting flashes of light.
Scintillations is meant to be a sonically freeform mallet quartet in two parts.
“Scintillations” was originally written as a mallet quartet (hence the subtitle “Mallet Quartet No. 3). The piece was premiered by the Vanderbilt Percussion Group at the Blair School of Music on April 4th, 2018. Clark Hubbard was asked to arrange the piece for non-melodic percussion instruments, and a drums-only version of this piece was premiered by the Eschaton New Music Ensemble on April 25th, 2018. To purchase sheet music for the drum version of “Scintillations,” email Clark Hubbard at firstname.lastname@example.org
The premise of this movement is to begin with a chord, and slowly morph into other chords. With this notation, the score in on a grid. Each player has their own row. In the first box each player is given one note. Each player is to roll their note on a given box. There is no time signature or tempo marking, but each box should last around ten seconds (each box can be shorter or longer than recommended at discretion of the performers.). All players should advance to the next column of boxes in unison so that the notated progression of harmony is maintained. When a note is written in a box, change to that note. When a box is left blank, sustain the note printed in the preceding box. The general dynamic volume of this movement is p, but performers can choose to build and tear down dynamic structures as they find appropriate.
Part I was originally intended to be played by all four percussionists on one vibraphone, however this movement could be expanded to two vibraphones, marimba(s), or the full quartet of 2 vibraphones + 2 marimbas. To expand upon the original intent – each performer was designated a zone of the vibraphone (players 1 + 2 high register, players 3 + 4 low register). Although the intent was for each of the players to play single notes in a specific range on one vibraphone, performers can choose to play on multiple instruments and utilize multiple octave of notes. The most important thing is that the calm, flowing nature of the movement is preserved.
Part II deals with intricate rhythmic phasing with relatively unpredictable melodic material. In part II, each player is presented with single line rhythms with boxes containing letters at the beginning of each measure.
In this movement, each measure can be repeated an infinite amount of times. All players must advance to the next measure in unison, but after an indeterminate amount of repetitions (it would be recommended that each group designate one performer to cue the advances to the next measure).
At the beginning of each measure, there are note names listed inside boxes. These are the notes available to each performer to use in that specific measure. The performer can map those notes onto the given rhythm at their own discretion. These notes can be in any octave of their instrument. While the rhythmic structures must remain intact with each repetition, the performer should feel free to explore different mappings of notes with every repetition. Of course, the performer can choose to change mappings of notes less frequently in each measure cycle, but they should not feel limited to harmonic possibilities.
The drum arrangement requires each player to have a high-pitched, medium-pitched, and low-pitched drum. Instead of pitches, players are given boxes with upper and lowercase letters H, M and L (high, medium low). Lowercase letters indicate the rim of the drum while uppercase letters indicate the head of the drum.