Keiko Abe just celebrated her 80th birthday on April 18. Keiko Abe is a Japanese composer and marimba artist. According to wikipedia.org: “She has been a primary figure in the development of the marimba, in terms of expanding both technique and repertoire, and through her collaboration with the Yamaha Corporation, developed the modern five-octave concert marimba.”
Inner Eye is inspired by a statue of Shiva at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The “third eye” or “inner eye” of the statue is believed to see beyond sight, and is the portal into the central energy point of a being. This idea of inward reflection, and dizziness felt when observing the multiple faces of the statue, led the the circular motifs and chaotic moments of this piece.
Maria Finkelmeier, marimba and loop
Scott Quade, videography
I have featured the original recording of Andy Aikido’s Karakurenai a couple of months ago. It is a great piece for steel pan and marimba. During the summer, a former student, James Yoshizawa, recorded a video of him playing it on marimba.
“Originally composed in 2012, I made significant revisions to the piece in 2015, with the inclusion of an entirely new section. The piece combines two of my favorite instruments to perform on: marimba and drum set. The outer portions feature the marimba, with contrasting sections that use a variety of time signatures and harmonic ideas. By design, some phrases place the marimba in the role as accompanist, while most phrases see it scored as the solo voice. The middle section is meant to be a fun jam section based on the groove the underlies the piece from the very beginning. While portions of the middle section are open for improvisation, certain sections are written out to aid with transitions.” (From YouTube Description).
For more information about Rob and his compositions, contract Rob Sanderl.
The Great Plains International Marimba Competition just completed three days of great marimba performances. There were 30 semi-finalists (16 high school and 14 college) that competed for the top three spots in the high and college divisions.
Congratulations to the 2016 Great Plains International Marimba Winners! (more…)
It is hard to believe that 20 years ago, Mark Ford, Director of Percussion at University of North Texas, released his CD Polaris. I remember listening to Polaris and Suite for Marimba as a student and unfortunately, the music for Suite was not available. Earlier this year, Mark Alan Taggart made the piece available as a free download on Mark Ford’s website. Check it out and add it to your next recital. As always, if you play the piece, be sure to send a program to Mark Alan Taggart. It is a great piece and more people need to hear it. Be the first one to put a recording on YouTube!