산 • San • Mountain

Duration: 6.5 minutes

Difficulty: ★★★★★

Premiered: 2020.11.01

Players: (1) 5 Octave Marimba + Electronics

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(Commissioned by Ji Hye Jung)

video by Continuous Motion Productions, released through VicFirth

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

RedBlueYellow

Duration: 4.5 minutes

Difficulty: ★★★☆☆

Released: 2019

Players: (2) 2 Marimbas (4.3 octave) Desk Bells

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(written for Madeline Dethloff + Sam Carullo)

About “RedBlueYellow”

“REDBLUEYELLOW” is a percussion duet for two 4.3 octave marimbas + one octave (C-C) of desk bells. Throughout the piece, performers trade off duties as the lead voice and accompaniment.

“REDBLUEYELLOW” was inspired by the paintings of Piet Mondrian (specifically “Composition II in Red, Blue, and Yellow”) and tries to imagine what types of creatures would exist in a ‘De Stijl’ world of red, blue, and yellow.

The piece begins with light chatter between the desk bells and marimba that quickly evolves into a fast-paced melody with each player having a turn on melody and accompaniment. The following section shows the main theme recontextualized as a chorale. “REDBLUEYELLOW” closes with a final fast-paced section where it feels as if the two performers might lose control!

“REDBLUEYELLOW” calls for one set of desk bells [C, D, E, F, G, A, C’]. Desk bells may be substituted for glockenspiel, tuned metal pipes, crotales, or other pitched + resonant metals.

“REDBLUEYELLOW” is great for students looking for a fast-paced marimba duo with a harmonic language accessible to any audience.
An excellent piece to open or close any recital.

“REDBLUEYELLOW” was premiered by Dethloff and Carullo on August 24th, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Into The Light

Duration: 5:09

Difficulty: ★★★★☆

Released: 2018

Players: (4) soprano voice, flute, marimba, piano

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(written for 2018 Cortona Sessions for New Music)

About “Into The Light”

“INTO THE LIGHT” is a contemporary/art-pop quartet for voice, flute, piano, and marimba.

Thematically, “INTO THE LIGHT” is about the moments in pre-dawn. The first half of this piece focuses on maneuvering in the darkness before the dawn. The second half of the piece is inspired by light slowly trickling into a room through the window.

The marimba part for “INTO THE LIGHT” calls for the use of four-mallet playing and a 4.3 octave marimba. The percussionist serves many roles throughout the piece playing atmospheric style chorales, serving as the rhythmic motor, and creating minimalist textures with other instrumentalists.

“INTO THE LIGHT” is inspired by the music of Peter Gabriel, Philip Glass, and Kate Bush.

“INTO THE LIGHT” is great for students looking for a contemporary chamber piece that draws from the pop music idiom.

text is taken from “Before the Dawn” by Clark Hubbard

Before the dawn

Reach into the void

Dark house

Your walls lay creaking

And its dark outside

Slowly fades into view

And its dark outside

And it feels like floating

Reaching out into nothing

And its dark outside

Go out into the light