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Percussion Ensembles

Green Road Duo

marimba and vibraphone duet
Composer: Mark Ford & Ed Smith
Publisher: Innovative Percussion
Instrumentation: Marimba (5 octave) and Vibraphone

Program Notes:
The Green Road was originally a marimba solo dedicated to Akiko Goto (also published by Innovative Percussion). The title refers to an old country road behind my grandfather's house near Richmond, Virginia. In 2011, I asked my good friend Ed Smith to perform The Green Road as a marimba/vibraphone duo, and we recorded this version for my CD, Stealing a Moment (Dynasty Records). Ed composed a beautiful vibe accompaniment to my music, and I rearranged the marimba part. We both hope you enjoy this new version of The Green Road.

“An introspective composition that captivates both the performer and the listener through its compelling sonic honesty and harmonic/melodic transparency.”  This excerpt from Jim Lambert’s review of the solo marimba version of “The Green Road” appeared in the October 2008 issue of Percussive Notes. In this scoring for keyboard duet, Mark Ford has rearranged the marimba solo and Ed Smith has created a vibraphone accompaniment that truly adds to the aura of the original composition.

The mood of the piece is enhanced by the vibraphone’s ability to produce long tones. Arpeggiated ideas in the marimba are softened by the vibraphone sustain, which ultimately complements the expression markings including “dolce legato” and “freely.” Venturing in and out of the accompaniment role to join the melodic line for brief moments, the vibraphonist will need to perform with a chameleon-like mentality. The ebb and flow nature evokes a calming atmosphere throughout a majority of the work. Collegiate and professional duos will enjoy the expressive liberties granted by the composers. Rubato passages will allow for unique interpretations, and the inclusion of chord symbols encourages improvisation. Be sure to watch Ford and Smith’s performance on YouTube and enjoy the journey down “The Green Road.” - Darin Olson  Percussive Notes, July 2014

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Mark Ford Mark Ford
University of North Texas
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