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Satellite (Download)

duet for vibraphone and marimba
Level: Advanced
Duration: 5:15
Personnel: 2 players
State Lists: Florida
Release Date: 2023
Product ID : TSPCD23-005DL
Price: $30.00
Item #: TSPCD23-005DL

Formats Available:


Description

Satellite by Benjamin Holmes is an advanced level mallet duo with swirling marimba and vibraphone patterns and colors. Driving triplets throughout the work create a sense of momentum that mimics the rotation of the earth and its orbiting satellites. The triplets are occasionally altered through various metric modulations, representing a satellite's revolution around the planet. Performers’ abilities are challenged through sharp dynamic changes, quick timbre shifts, and interesting color combinations. Satellite is a whirlwind duo that will challenge even the most advanced players and enthrall audiences.

Use of this product is governed by the license terms outlined here.


Instrumentation

Vibraphone

Marimba — 5-octave

Reviews

One of the most impressive skills a musician can develop is metric modulation. Benjamin Holmes employs this technique masterfully in “Satellite,” his new duet for marimba and vibraphone. It is an exciting work that will show off several aspects of a duo’s musical abilities, while keeping the audience awestruck.

The glaringly obvious element of this piece that any listener, player, or reviewer will notice is Holmes’ treatment of rhythm. Most of the piece is felt in driving triplets, but the occasional set of sixteenth notes are snuck in, either played in unison between the duo or split between them, to build tension in a crescendo or to lead to an arrival. Most impressively, though, are the moments where the piece changes tempo by simply shifting where the emphasis is in a repeated rhythm — aka, metric modulation. The first happens after a repetition of a triplet-sounding rhythm shifts to sounding like sixteenth notes, effectively slowing the tempo. The opposite occurs near the end of the piece when the pair is playing sixteenth notes that transform into the triplets from the opening of the piece, re-attaining the tempo primo of the composition. Such use of metric trickery would make Elliott Carter proud.

Significant portions of the work are in unison between the performers in one way or another. For example, one section features a melody in unison in their right hands, while their lefts are both playing different, yet-compatible, accompanying notes. Other spots, such as the very beginning, are in perfect unison in pitch and rhythm. Further still, there are sections where the two are moving in parallel or at least similar motion while playing unison rhythms. Regardless, while it is a challenge to make all of these elements line up the way they must, the satisfaction the performers will have when everything fits together will be worth the efforts.

—Kyle Cherwinski
Percussive Notes
Vol. 61, No. 6, December 2023

Description

Satellite by Benjamin Holmes is an advanced level mallet duo with swirling marimba and vibraphone patterns and colors. Driving triplets throughout the work create a sense of momentum that mimics the rotation of the earth and its orbiting satellites. The triplets are occasionally altered through various metric modulations, representing a satellite's revolution around the planet. Performers’ abilities are challenged through sharp dynamic changes, quick timbre shifts, and interesting color combinations. Satellite is a whirlwind duo that will challenge even the most advanced players and enthrall audiences.

Use of this product is governed by the license terms outlined here.


Instrumentation

Vibraphone

Marimba — 5-octave

Reviews

One of the most impressive skills a musician can develop is metric modulation. Benjamin Holmes employs this technique masterfully in “Satellite,” his new duet for marimba and vibraphone. It is an exciting work that will show off several aspects of a duo’s musical abilities, while keeping the audience awestruck.

The glaringly obvious element of this piece that any listener, player, or reviewer will notice is Holmes’ treatment of rhythm. Most of the piece is felt in driving triplets, but the occasional set of sixteenth notes are snuck in, either played in unison between the duo or split between them, to build tension in a crescendo or to lead to an arrival. Most impressively, though, are the moments where the piece changes tempo by simply shifting where the emphasis is in a repeated rhythm — aka, metric modulation. The first happens after a repetition of a triplet-sounding rhythm shifts to sounding like sixteenth notes, effectively slowing the tempo. The opposite occurs near the end of the piece when the pair is playing sixteenth notes that transform into the triplets from the opening of the piece, re-attaining the tempo primo of the composition. Such use of metric trickery would make Elliott Carter proud.

Significant portions of the work are in unison between the performers in one way or another. For example, one section features a melody in unison in their right hands, while their lefts are both playing different, yet-compatible, accompanying notes. Other spots, such as the very beginning, are in perfect unison in pitch and rhythm. Further still, there are sections where the two are moving in parallel or at least similar motion while playing unison rhythms. Regardless, while it is a challenge to make all of these elements line up the way they must, the satisfaction the performers will have when everything fits together will be worth the efforts.

—Kyle Cherwinski
Percussive Notes
Vol. 61, No. 6, December 2023


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