Medium Percussion Quartet
by Alan Keown
Instrumentation: Marimba—(1) low A, Drums (2 sets of bongos)
Alan Keown’s pointilistic percussion quartet, Sand, is written in a minimalist style relying on the players to maintain a good internal pulse and place their sparse notes exactly in time. In this piece, players are required to muffle many of their notes on the shared marimba in order to create a small pitch bend effect. This is done by grasping the bar with the thumb and first two fingers after striking. Also, there are times when the bars are allowed to ring which will be in stark contrast to the muffled notes and helps display the many different timbral possibilities of the marimba. The result of the sparse parts becomes a cohesive melody interspersed with the percussive and “drummy” color of bongos to weave a composite whole.
Sand comes as a professionally printed and bound score and includes individual parts in PDF format for printing or for tablet viewing.