Duration: 6.5 minutes
Players: (1) 5 Octave Marimba + Electronics
(Commissioned by Ji Hye Jung)
About “산 • San • Mountain”
“산 • San • Mountain” was composed in 2019 and commissioned by Ji Hye Jung. This piece is written for 5-octave marimba and electronic playback.
Included with this score are three tracks:
- Electronic Backing Track
- Electronic Backing Track with Click
- Mock Performance (Electronic Track + Electronic Marimba)
“Mountain” is intended to be performed without the use of a click track.
Thematically, when I began writing this piece, I was torn between writing a piece about mountains of the Himalayas or about the ocean. I had generated some material that could apply to either theme until I happened upon an interview between Jeff Evans, Bud Brutsman, and Joe Rogan. Evans was discussing rescuing climbers from Mount Everest (and other mountains) when he said “I like to be with my people, in the hills. That’s my church…the cathedral of the big mountains makes me happy and sort of rejuvenates my soul.” Hearing that line is what made me choose to write about the mountains. This piece is not necessarily about climbing Mount Everest, but about being in large mountains in general. My focus when writing the piece was more on the act of being in nature and experiencing a sense of ‘wonder’ rather than the accomplishment of climbing a mountain. Early in the compositional process, Ji Hye and I discussed the possibility of a Korean title. The title I settled on is the Korean word “산” or “San” meaning “Mountain.” When writing this piece, I was thinking of mountains in the context of ones home or church, and I feel that this title gives both the performer and the audience the freedom to draw their own emotional connections to the idea of being in the mountains.
Musically, my main goals in “Mountain” were to write a piece that had a challenging, but not impossible, marimba part and was stylistically a blend between my interests in contemporary and ‘radio’ music. I had previously written a few works for marimba and had released an album and several EPs of electronic music, but never a piece for electronic and acoustic instruments.
I was fortunate enough to study with Ji Hye Jung while I was a student at Vanderbilt University and I am overjoyed that our friendship has included creating this new piece for marimba and electronics!