Just finished my third year first semester recital and I can say that this semester has been really tough!
I’ve had some amazing opportunities preparing some really benchmark pieces:
Blade by Benjamin Finley and Nagoya Marimbas by Steve Reich. Videos going up in the next days…
Among the pieces I prepared was a recent composition by Brisbane composer, drummer and percussionist John Parker.
John’s compositions have been a real inspiration for me over the years, especially since most of my high school percussion music was his! I chose to play his four mallet marimba solo ‘Pushing Nancarrow’s Wheelbarrow’ after hearing another friend of mine play parts of it in his recital. The composition won the 2012 Percussive Arts Society’s Composition Competition in the unaccompanied solo marimba section.
It’s a really great piece, inspired by the works of the composer Conlon Nancarrow, who wrote extremely mathematical and complex rhythmical music for piano rolls, music which was technically impossible for anyone to play, but sounded beautiful on his rolls.
The piece explores lots of poly rhythms and overall is very melodic and beautiful. It requires the performer to try and separate between the two hands and control each of the mallets with brain melting focus. Definitely a challenging piece but it was worth all the effort.
So prepare your mind, try and close your eyes and let it happen. I found thinking made it hard for the piece to happen. Confusing but true.
Thanks for the help John!
If you want to hear more pieces by John Parker or composers that have a similar style you can check out his website: www.preparedsounds.com.au
I hope you enjoy,