Rain dancing : for solo marimba
by Katherine Rawlings (2000)
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Originally written for the marimba this piece was workshopped with percussionist Carmen Chan. As this was the first piece I had written for solo marimba, when I first began writing this piece, my mind was focused on the idea that a marimba piece should be written in perpetual motion (with rapid repetitive note patterns), because of the short duration of the notes when struck. When I asked Carmen to play through my initial ideas, one of the first things she said was, "it's very pianistic!". These words continued to haunt me as I tried to work with and develop my ideas. The material I was producing sounded empty and directionless to me, and the more I tried to bring meaning to the piece the more I began to hate it. I later realised that I was getting too caught up with the idea of writing in perpetual motion and was not concentrating enough on the content of the music. So I began the piece again from scratch - this time, instead of getting caught up in the idea that a marimba piece must move with constant motion, I focused instead on creating something that was both harmonically and rhythmically interesting. With this focus in mind, the piece seemed to write itself
Instrumentation: Marimba (5 octaves).
Duration: 3 min.
Difficulty: Advanced — Masters level or higher
Written for: Carmen Chan
Performances of this work
17 Feb 06: Melba Hall, Faculty of Music, University of Melbourne
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