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Circularity

marimba solo
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Composer: Matthew Coley
Publisher: Innovative Percussion, Inc.
Instrumentation: Marimba (5 octave)

Program Notes:
Circularity is the continuous and always rotating result of a conceptual creative process. The process began as an improvisation on marimba while having in mind the circular concept and techniques used in dance training. The original idea was to create a percussion keyboard trio that would be coupled with dancers (2004). After the performance of this version the process continued and the platform was expanded with more dancers, cello, piano, and found glass instruments (ie. Bottles, vases, bowls, plate glass, and bowls and marbles used by the dancers) (2006). After performances of this, I felt the work wanted to come back to its original origin and complete the circle as a solo work (2007). Another idea used in this work was the concept of one stable "circle" that is only altered by slight changes in layers and texture, while other smaller unstable "circles" connect this by expanding and altering their material more severely.

Review:
"This is another addition to the growing body of intermediate to advanced level idiomatic marimba solos. The piece relies heavily on varied permutations, ostinatos and varied articulations, including one percussive notes 75 AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2009 section played with the mallet shafts on the edges of the bars while the “circular” motive is played normally. Interestingly, the piece has gone through a number of versions and was conceived as music for dance. The original version had a mixed instrumentation that included found glass instruments, piano and cello. The composer states that the process for composing “began as an improvisation on marimba while having the circular concept and techniques used in dance training.” Because of the idiomatic nature of the piece, the fact that it began as an improvisation is not surprising. The idea of circular motion and layering are compositional techniques used throughout the piece. Many times the melodic motif or “circle” will surround an ostinato. The composer describes his process this way: “one stable ‘circle’…is only altered by slight changes in layers and texture, while other smaller unstable ‘circles’ connect this by expanding and altering their material more severely.” This piece would be an appropriate addition to an undergraduate recital, as an undergraduate study piece for learning advanced four-mallet techniques, or as a concert/study piece for an advanced high school student." — John Lane Percussive Notes, August/September 2009

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