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Three Shells

marimba solo
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Composer: Christopher Deane
Publisher: Innovative Percussion, Inc.
Instrumentation: Marimba - four and a third octave

Program Notes:
Three Shells creates an abstract narrative between the basic motivic materials. An echo like motive based on a tone row gives a sustaining quality to the marimba while the second element emerges as a traditional melody accompainment figure. The third element is an interruptive motive based on the original row. Mark Ford performed the premier of Three Shells in 1993 and the work is dedictated to my sister Leslie, who's pen and ink drawing provided me with the title. The four mallets to be used when performing this work should be chosen with as rich a tone quality as is possible yet still having the capability to speak clearly in all registers and within a wide dynamic range.

"Three Shells is a work for solo marimba (a 4 1/3 octave instrument will suffice) that is probably already familiar to many serious marimbists. It has been available since 1992, the year it won second prize in the PAS composition competition, and can now be heard on Mark Ford's CD, Polaris. Three Shells is an excellent example of a composition that exploits a particular idiomatic technique used in the performance of an instrument--in this case, the execution of double lateral strokes, played simultaneously by both hands, and also alternated, hand-to-hand fashion. Of course, in the hands of a good composer, applications of a particular technical approach would be used only as a means to a musical end. This is the case with Deane's piece, which can certainly stand on its own musical merits. His use of the rapid, dependent rotary strokes sets up an interesting, kaleidoscopic effect, as right and left hands interact in various combinations. The repetitious motor rhythms set up by these interactions are broken up by contrasting slower, lyrical sections that utilize a rich harmonic palette. Any serious college marimbist, who has mastered the requisite techniques and spends the necessary time to learn this solo, should be amply rewarded for the effort." - John R. Raush Percussive Notes, April 1997

Christopher Deane

Associate Professor of Percussion
University of North Texas

Christopher Deane is an Associate Professor of Percussion at the University of North Texas College of Music teaching orchestral timpani, mallets, and directing the UNT Percussion Players percussion ensemble. He holds performance degrees from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He studied with James Massie Johnson, former principal timpanist of the St. Louis Symphony and percussion with Allen Otte. He has also studied independently with Roland Kohloff, N.Y. Philharmonic, Eugene Espino, Cincinnati Symphony and Leonard Schulman, N.Y. City Opera.

Deane is currently principal percussionist with the Las Colinas Symphony Orchestra and is acting Principal Timpanist of the East Texas Symphony Orchestra. He is a frequent performer with the Dallas Wind Symphony and has appeared on five recordings with that ensemble. Deane was the Principal Timpanist of the Greensboro Symphony for nine years and performed with the North Carolina Symphony for ten years. Deane has performed with numerous large ensembles including the Boston Pops, Cincinnati Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Ft. Worth Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Spoleto Festival Orchestra, Utah Symphony and Virginia Symphony working with conductors such as Leonard Slatkin, Loren Maazel, Andrew Litton, Jaap van Sweden, Jesus Lopez-Cobos, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, and Keith Lockhart. His chamber music experience includes performances with the Percussion Group Cincinnati, Aeolian Chamber Players, Mallarme Chamber Players and the Philidor Percussion Group. He has appeared in more than seventy performances as a concerto soloist with either symphony orchestras or wind ensembles.

Deane was the faculty percussionist for the Bowdoin Summer Music Festival in Maine from 1982 to 1989. Over the course of those eight years Deane worked closely with composer George Crumb performing his music and serving as a consultant to Crumb for works including Idyll for the Misbegotten, Quest, and Haunted Landscapes. Deane served as a percussionist for the American Dance Festival from 1992 to 1996. He has also served as faculty percussionist for the Vale Veneto Music Festival in Brazil.

Deane has recorded as a timpanist, percussionist and Hungarian Cimbalom soloist. He is a featured concerto soloist on two UNT Wind Symphony recordings featuring the concertos of Joseph Schwantner, Russell Peck and William Kraft under the baton of Eugene Corporon. Deane has also recorded the music of Stravinsky with conductor Robert Craft for the Naxos Label, and has recorded with the Detroit Symphony, North Carolina Symphony, Greensboro Symphony, Cincinnati Philharmonia, Mallarme Chamber Players, St. Stevens Chamber Orchestra and the Winston-Salem Symphony.

Deane has won both 1st and 2nd prize in the PAS Composition Competition. He studied Composition with Sherwood Shaffer, Robert Ward, and Charles Fussell, and independently with Ben Johnston. He has received numerous commissions including the Percussive Arts Society, University of Oklahoma, and the University of Kentucky. His music has been performed and recorded internationally and a number of his compositions have become standard literature on concerts and recitals worldwide. Deane has served two terms on the PAS Board of Directors. He is a clinician for the Bergerault/Dynasty Corporation, Black Swamp Percussion, Innovative Percussion and Sabian Cymbals.

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Christopher Deane Christopher Deane
University of North Texas
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