Instrumentation: Duets 1-5: Two Marimbas (4.3-octave & 5-octave), Duets 6-10: Two Vibraphones (3-octave), Duets 11-15: Vibraphone (3-octave) & Marimba (4.3-octave to 5-octave).
Written to fill a void in accessible duet literature for keyboard percussion, Songs of the Human Spirit explores combinations of 2 marimbas, 2 vibraphones, and vibraphone/marimba throughout the 15 pieces. Ranging in duration from 2 to 3 minutes, each duet features a different style, texture, or technique and can be used in several different ways – in private lessons, studio class, or even recitals.
Commissioned by a consortium of performers and educators organized by John Kilkenny and Daniel Heagney, Songs of the Human Spirit is grouped into three sections of five solos each — Marimba + Marimba, Vibraphone + Vibraphone, and Vibraphone + Marimba. Each duet ranges in duration from 2 to 3 minutes and utilizes two or four mallets or, in the case of the vibraphone duet “Loneliness,” a bass bow plus two mallets. Instead of attempting to create a sequential etude book, I aimed to provide a varied musical experience from solo to solo, exploring different techniques (percussive & compositional), moods/emotions, and ensemble challenges.