by Benjamin Finley
Instrumentation: Glockenspiel, Xylophone, 2 vibraphones, 3 marimbas—(2) 4-octave, (1) low C, Drumset , Drums (bongos, kick drum, congas, 2 small toms, medium tom, medium-low tom, floor tom or concert bass drum, 2 low toms), Cymbals (hi-hat, splash cymbal), Accessories (high and low brake drums, high and low skillets, triangle, 3 woodblocks, 8 graduated metal spinners)
Zenith is an astronomical term that refers to the point in the sky that is directly overhead from a particular point on Earth. Metaphorically, a zenith can be the pinnacle of what can be achieved in any given endeavor. This work by Benjamin Finley may be that very zenith for ambitious ensembles aiming for something both challenging and appealing.
Zenith motives can be found throughout the piece in the form of various ascending scale passages, as well as some of the more rhythmically virtuosic moments featuring rapid meter changes. The composer also calls for “spinners” to be used in each player’s setup. Spinners are comprised of purposed pieces of resonant metal that are set into a spinning motion, producing a stereophonic vibrato effect.
Benjamin Finley’s compositional voice is enthusiastic, hopeful, and ambitious. Zenith embodies these qualities in which both players and audiences will be rewarded.
Zenith ships in a professionally bound folio with a full-color cover, including individual parts on CD-ROM.