Continuing the challenge of playing Ross Edwards’ pieces, I decided to also play ‘More Marimba Dances’ by the Australian composer. Dancers Grace Miel and Juwai Pitkin joined me for this set of dances as well.
This set of marimba dances is similar to the first in terms of tonality and ideas though it still manages to clearly set itself apart. I loved working on the first movement because of an image my teacher, Vanessa Tomlinson, suggested. She created an image of two birds communicating over large distances, echoing the same ideas back at each other. It changed the way I thought of the piece and very much the way I ended up playing it.
To amplify the image I had in my mind, I decided to work with bird footage to show the audience my thoughts as well. The first idea I had were splicing bird footage from the discovery channel into a short video. I went to share it with the stage manager, Cameron Hipwell, and he gave some awesome insights!
Cameron suggested that I find footage that was surprisingly monotonous, with little change and not very amazing.
“If your footage is some high definition bird photography that moves around and looks really cool, people are gonna ignore you completely and just watch the birds!”
I was glad he said that because the footage was meant to be an addition to the performance, not a distractor.
Overall, I really enjoyed working on this piece. It was interesting to see Ross Edwards transition in compositional style over time. I think anyone interested in learning beautiful and challenging marimba solos should look at his pieces.
It was a pleasure once again to work with Grace and Juwai and an honour to work with the great Cameron Hipwell! Thank you for your support and for your amazing work. I appreciate your wisdom and talents in making my recital a show!
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