Tuesday, May 2, 2006
Assisted by Dean Anshutz, Tim Hampton, Adam Bokesch, and Dr. Glenn Schaft
2040’s Sortie (1947) Alan Abel (b. 1924)
A native of Zanesville, Ohio, Abel attended The Ohio State University in 1950 and his teachers included M. Whitcomb, J. Evans, and D. McGiness. 2040’s Sortie for solo snare drum was composed in 1947 and received its premiere the same year at Ohio State University. The piece is dedicated to V.F.W. Post 2040 in Coshocton, Ohio.
The Offering (2003) Michael Burritt (b. 1962)
Michael Burritt is well known as a composer and performer. He received his education at The Eastman School of Music from teachers John Beck and Gordon Stout. Burritt has recorded several CDs and written works for solo marimba, multiple percussion, percussion ensemble, and has composed several marimba concerti.
The Offering (Prelude 6) bears a dedication “to my Grandma and Grandpa Burritt.” The piece was composed shortly after his grandfather’s death, whose funeral he had to miss due to affairs abroad, as a catharsis for his emotions.
VI (1986) Michael Udow (b. 1949) Chris Watts
This etude is the sixth of twenty in Michael Udow and Chris Watt’s publication The Contemporary Percussionist. This work offers an innovative approach to the setup, instrument and implement selection, and performance of multiple percussion music. The composer writes in his acknowledgement: “This book grew out of conceptual discussions with Chris Watts, a visual artist from England. The specific conceptual ideas focusing on time, space, pulse, and rhythm were greatly influenced by Chris’ art work.” In their forward, Udow and Watts state: “The multiple percussion solos contained in this text will assist the performer in developing techniques and concepts necessary to perform music of the past, present, and future.”
Etude VI calls for the use of a brake drum, a low, resonant tom-tom, and a low very dry bass drum with foot pedal, and is marked fortissimo sempre. This performance begins with an improvisation on the music. Earplugs are recommended.
Rhythm Song (1981) Paul Smadbeck (b. 1955)
Rhythm Song is one of Smadbeck’s several works for marimba. Composed for “one or marimbas,” the piece runs about ten minutes in length. The work is a series of variations, both melodically and rhythmically. Addition and subtraction of various notes throughout the work create an interesting feel of shifting meter.
Omphalo Centric Lecture (1984) Nigel Westlake (b. 1958)
Omphalo Centric Lecture was written for the Australian percussion group Synergy and calls for four marimbas, log drums, shaker, and splash cymbal. The piece is based on artwork by the same name. Westlake utilizes polymeter, where several rhythmic time structures occur simultaneously, rhythmic grooves, and complex melodic activity. He also makes use of some interesting tone colors such as the use of dead strokes, muting, and dragging beads across the keyboard.