Duration: 6.5 minutes
Players: (1) 5 Octave Marimba + Electronics
(Commissioned by Ji Hye Jung)
About “산 • San • Mountain”
“산 • SAN • MOUNTAIN” is a five-octave marimba + electronics solo commissioned by Ji Hye Jung.
Thematically, “MOUNTAIN” is about being in nature and in the mountains. In the early stages of composition this piece, I came across a conversation between Jeff Evans, Bud Brutsman, and Joe Rogan. Evans was discussing climbing and rescuing people off of Mt. Everest (among 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.” After hearing that line, I decided that “mountains” would be the theme of this piece.
Originally, this piece was titled “Cathedral of the Big Mountains” (from Evans’ quote). Ji Hye Jung suggested that I use Korean in the title and so I chose the title “산 • SAN • MOUNTAIN.” “산” is the Korean character for “SAN” which translates to “MOUNTAIN.”
“MOUNTAIN” is not necessarily about the achievement of climbing mountains or about any mountain in particular (although it was initially inspired by the Himalayas). This piece is thematically about the sense of ‘wonder’ one experiences when out in nature and the connection of being in mountains/nature to being at home or church.
“MOUNTAIN” is a technically challenging work for marimba that blends contemporary percussion music with pop, electronic, and dance music. Throughout the piece, the relationship between the marimba and track varies. At times, the marimba is the dominant voice and the track serves as an electronic environment in which the marimba exists. In other instances, the electronic playback functions as an enhancement of the marimba, adding additional textures and colors to the sound of the marimba.
The marimba writing for this piece draws influence and inspiration from the popular marimba solos Jacob Druckman’s “Reflections of the Nature of Water,” Joseph Schwantner’s “Velocities,” Bruce Hamilton’s “Interzones,” and David Maslanka’s “Variations on Lost Love” among others. The electronic track draws influence and inspiration from the album ‘China’ by Vangelis as well as the music of Bjork, David Byrne, Peter Gabriel, Glenn Kotche, Radiohead, and Steve Reich.
Prior to “MOUNTAIN,” I had 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.
“산 • SAN • MOUNTAIN” is great for students that are looking for a challenging marimba solo and want to explore electro-acoustic percussion repertoire.
“MOUNTAIN” is intended to be performed without a click track.
– electronic playback [.wav] + electronic playback (with click) [.wav] is included with purchase of the score