Boulder Canyon, Hoover Dam

Boulder Canyon Hoover Dam - Clark Hubbard

Duration: 5.75 minutes

Difficulty: ★★★

Released: 2019.07.05

Players: (1) Vibraphone + Electronics

(Commissioned by Danielle Gonzalez)

About “Boulder Canyon, Hoover Dam”

“Boulder Canyon, Hoover Dam” was composed in 2019 and commissioned by Danielle Gonzalez. This piece is written for vibraphone and electronic playback.

Included with this score are two tracks:

1.Electronic Backing Track

2.Mock Performance (Electronic Track + Electronic Vibraphone)

“Boulder Canyon, Hoover Dam” is intended to be performed without the use of a click track.

During the spring of 2019, Danielle asked me to write her a solo for percussion and electronics after hearing a presentation about my piece “Mountain” that I had written earlier in 2019 for Ji Hye Jung. “Boulder Canyon, Hoover Dam” was written for Danielle’s Natural Beauty touring production. When tasked with writing a piece focused on “human impact on the planet,” I knew I did not want to write a piece with the narrative “mankind is destroying the earth!”

While on vacation with my family in Las Vegas, we took a day to visit Hoover Dam. It was there that I found the inspiration to write this piece – a story of man & nature working together, clean energy, industry, – I had found what I was looking for thematically. While visiting the Hoover Dam, I watched the government documentary about the construction of the Dam. I love educational videos from this era and felt that there would be no better way to thematically guide this vibraphone solo than to sample the narration from this half-hour public domain documentary.

I wanted this piece to be performed without a click track – so I created a metronome composed of various water sounds I recorded in my apartment and pitch-corrected to achieve a ‘larger’ sound more representative of the Hoover Dam. The melodic material is inspired by the music of Steve Reich as well as dance and pop music. In other instances, the melodic material is a harmonization of the narration. While Hoover Dam is in Black Canyon, the legislation that built the Dam was “The Boulder Canyon Project Act of 1928” hence the title: “Boulder Canyon, Hoover Dam.”

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