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Thread: 7 movements for Marimba - Video

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    Senior Member Vasks's Avatar
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    Default 7 movements for Marimba - Video

    This three year old work got its premiere via an online performance recently. With COVID-19, online performances have been happening a good bit. I also had a one-minute piece by a duo done likewise, but this is the one I'd like to share here at TC.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/appnpb4gzo...rimba.mp4?dl=0
    "Music in any generation is not what the public thinks of it but what the musicians make of it"....Virgil Thomson

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    Senior Member Phil loves classical's Avatar
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    Yup do definitely have your own recognizable voice. I was surprised the acoustics are so nice in that room.
    "Forgive me, Majesty. I'm a vulgar man. But I assure you, my music is not.“ Mozart

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    Senior Member tdc's Avatar
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    Nice piece Vasks. The marimba has a very nice nice timbre, I would like to see more compositions for the instrument.

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    Senior Member mikeh375's Avatar
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    I agree with the chaps above.
    Controlled and effective. I do like the way you create a coherent "tonality" which really helps orientate one on first listen. One can easily hang on to ideas and grasp them as they are memorable and nicely paced imv. The coherence was such that I wondered if the mvts are materially related.
    Some great harmonies in there too.
    New website and some new music......www.mikehewer.com

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    Senior Member Vasks's Avatar
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    I've been, and still am, on the road, but I do want to acknowledge all three of your comments, Phil, tdc & Mike.

    First regarding my "voice". I guess so although some pieces I write are almost atonal, the majority are quasi-tonal and even a few now and then are so tonal has to have a key signature. So if one ignores the harmonic language, I'm sure that my way of expressing myself can be sensed if enough pieces are heard.

    As for the marimba, it is used plenty in mixed chamber music combinations, but alone by itself it does have limited color unless one incorporates special techniques like bowing bars or prepared. So while there are plenty of solo marimba pieces available for recitals (like this piece) the instrument itself has less appeal to the general audience for any great length of playing time.

    And finally the piece itself is best considered a suite of 7 unrelated pieces. A few are etudes without calling them that. The seven maybe be played individually, or as a short set of selected numbers, aside from doing the complete suite. My approach to designing each movement was to let my inner logic dictate what happens. And for me, when writing short movements, limited material is a must. And yes, each movement has some kind of tonal center.
    "Music in any generation is not what the public thinks of it but what the musicians make of it"....Virgil Thomson

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    I just like the marimba. Sure, its sound isn't quite varied, but the same musician can play the vibraphone, the xylophone, the metallophone. Using one such instrument as the solo in front of some orchestra might become boring over time, but as a member of a small formation it's not. I have an old jazz LP of vibraphone and trumpet, and this sound diversity is more than enough.

    I too would like to hear the marimba more often, including as a part of a symphonic orchestra. I had such instruments in mind when asking if amplification is kosher in orchestras.

    I like your music, Peteris, and am amazed that these pieces for marimba are so marimba-esque, with a style original among your other compositions. How much marimba music did you listen to before writing yours? Did you have a marimba player at hand?

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    Member TalkingPie's Avatar
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    I'm still fascinated at how you make some chords sound with the marimba's unique ressonance.
    What are the block chords around 00:09 and similar places? A stack of 4ths plus a major 3rd? I can only pick these securely with a piano timbre
    Last edited by TalkingPie; Sep-25-2020 at 13:25.

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    Senior Member Vasks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enthalpy View Post
    I too would like to hear the marimba more often, including as a part of a symphonic orchestra. I had such instruments in mind when asking if amplification is kosher in orchestras.
    You don't need to amplify, just use the marimba in softer, more lightly scored passages. The player can use harder mallets to project if need be.

    Quote Originally Posted by Enthalpy View Post
    I like your music, Peteris, and am amazed that these pieces for marimba are so marimba-esque, with a style original among your other compositions. How much marimba music did you listen to before writing yours? Did you have a marimba player at hand?
    LOL! First, I'm not the famous Vasks. His music and mine are worlds apart. I just took his name as my moniker because it's short. Listening does not help one iota for anyone to learn how to write well for instruments. It takes minimum score study. It's even better if they do what you do and that is try actually playing instruments.
    Last edited by Vasks; Sep-25-2020 at 15:25.
    "Music in any generation is not what the public thinks of it but what the musicians make of it"....Virgil Thomson

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    Senior Member Vasks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TalkingPie View Post
    I'm still fascinated at how you make some chords sound with the marimba's unique ressonance.
    What are the block chords around 00:09 and similar places? A stack of 4ths plus a major 3rd? I can only pick these securely with a piano timbre
    Those chords are what I call Major/Minor. In this case think of a minor triad in first inversion and on top is the chord's major third. (e.g. from bottom to top = "C-E-A-C#)
    "Music in any generation is not what the public thinks of it but what the musicians make of it"....Virgil Thomson

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    Member TalkingPie's Avatar
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    Wow, really? I love split third chords, but they sounded so mellow on the instrument that I couldn't hear the diminished octave. Just shows how limited my ear is

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    Quote Originally Posted by Enthalpy View Post
    [...] I like your music, Peteris, and am amazed that these pieces for marimba are so marimba-esque, with a style original among your other compositions. [...]
    Quote Originally Posted by Vasks View Post
    [...] LOL! First, I'm not the famous Vasks. His music and mine are worlds apart. [...]
    OK, that explains the noticed difference in style.

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