In Africa depicts the sunrise and sunset of the savannahs of Africa. The beginning signifies the rustling of the leaves and grass in the morning and slowly brings in the marimba as the theme ‘a day’. The rest of the piece introduces themes to signify the various animals/wildlife and, being inspired by the opening of the Lion king, the circle of life. The change to the minor brings the turn of the afternoon and the results of the morning hunt. Following the climax of the evening, the piece retires to its beginning hinting the beginning of the next day. It is a long and quiet ending signifying the contrast between the expected length of a sunset and the real time it actually takes for the sun to set and the light to fade.
This piece is for an advanced percussion ensemble, working with extended techniques like using four mallets and playing with two shakers at once. It works with syncopated patterns and rhythms (2 on 3) and draws inspiration from my experience with West African drumming music. The marimba is a modern equivalent of the African instrument the balaphon, and the shakers and cowbell are instruments found in auxiliary percussion parts in African music.
Performers can add auxiliary instruments, as well as drums, though these parts should never be solo/feature/draw attention but rather be a base for the mallet instruments.
This piece was written for my Composition Project in 2013 and was first performed by my ensemble SoundStruck Percussion at the 2013 World Forum on Music at the Queensland Conservatorium.
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