Crystals (Download)Crystals (Download)
Click to enlarge

More images

Click to enlarge

Purchase

Crystals (Download)

for percussion quartet
Level: Medium
Duration: 3:10
Personnel: 4 players
Release Date: 2018
Delivery Method: Direct Download
Product ID : TSPCE18-025DL
Price: $32.00
Item #: TSPCE18-025DL

Formats Available:



Description

Thomas R. Marceau composed Crystals for young percussionists who have been living in a world of battery percussion and are now taking their first steps into mallet playing. Each performer is given a limited number of pitches on their respective keyboards so they can focus on the rhythmic complexity of the music. In addition to a keyboard instrument, each performer is given an additional auxiliary percussion instrument like a cymbal, a crystal glass, or a resonant metal. With this piece, Marceau helps bridge the gap between non-pitched and pitched percussion playing in a fun and engaging way!

Instrumentation

  • Glockenspiel
  • Vibraphone (w/ mallets and bow)
  • 1-2 marimbas–(1) 4-octave*, (1) 4.6-octave (low E)
  • 2 cymbals
  • 2 resonant metals or glasses

*Optional share with Marimba 2

Reviews

Thomas Marceau’s intent with Crystals was to create something that could introduce keyboard playing to students who have been “living in a world of battery percussion.” He does this through rhythmic activity, a limited library of gestures for each player, and the use of different timbres of which the instruments are capable. 

Even though the piece is only three minutes long, it has a clear and masterfully created form. The beginning section employs a slow, songlike melody in the glockenspiel with the other instruments providing accompaniment in the form of quick five-note gestures on every pulse. Cymbals, metals, and/or glass sounds are also used here as accompaniment using the same energetic rhythms as the marimba and vibraphone. The middle section is slightly faster and calls for the marimba to be played with mallet shafts and the vibraphone to be bowed. The accompanying gestures are simplified to shuffle-type rhythms, which, along with the change of timbre, give this portion a nice scene change while keeping the overall character of the piece intact. The work then returns to the beginning, but this time with more of the cymbal/metal/ glass sounds added, which shows development. The use of the supplementary sounds is done tastefully and never over- done. 

The only critique of the form is in the coda. It has even more of the energetic gestures from the opening and restatement, but lacks the convincing forward motion that the rest of the piece possesses, making the final chord seem premature. at aside, it is the most active portion of the work, so visually it will be an exciting end to a charming piece of repertoire. 

Even though the accompanying gestures look complicated, each player is given only two or three individual gestures (or groups of five notes), which are repeated several times. This will make learning the piece easier for those who may not be accustomed to keyboard instruments. Also, while the piece calls for a low-E marimba, the bass line can be played up an octave where appropriate so that it can be done on a 4.3-octave instrument without disrupting the other player. It won’t have the same bass effect as the original orchestration, but it will be playable if a 4.6-octave instrument is unavailable. In the end, Thomas Marceau has succeeded in creating a work that can introduce battery players to the world of keyboard percussion.

–Kyle Cherwinski
Percussive Notes
Vol. 57, No. 2, May 2019

Description

Thomas R. Marceau composed Crystals for young percussionists who have been living in a world of battery percussion and are now taking their first steps into mallet playing. Each performer is given a limited number of pitches on their respective keyboards so they can focus on the rhythmic complexity of the music. In addition to a keyboard instrument, each performer is given an additional auxiliary percussion instrument like a cymbal, a crystal glass, or a resonant metal. With this piece, Marceau helps bridge the gap between non-pitched and pitched percussion playing in a fun and engaging way!

Instrumentation

  • Glockenspiel
  • Vibraphone (w/ mallets and bow)
  • 1-2 marimbas–(1) 4-octave*, (1) 4.6-octave (low E)
  • 2 cymbals
  • 2 resonant metals or glasses

*Optional share with Marimba 2

Reviews

Thomas Marceau’s intent with Crystals was to create something that could introduce keyboard playing to students who have been “living in a world of battery percussion.” He does this through rhythmic activity, a limited library of gestures for each player, and the use of different timbres of which the instruments are capable. 

Even though the piece is only three minutes long, it has a clear and masterfully created form. The beginning section employs a slow, songlike melody in the glockenspiel with the other instruments providing accompaniment in the form of quick five-note gestures on every pulse. Cymbals, metals, and/or glass sounds are also used here as accompaniment using the same energetic rhythms as the marimba and vibraphone. The middle section is slightly faster and calls for the marimba to be played with mallet shafts and the vibraphone to be bowed. The accompanying gestures are simplified to shuffle-type rhythms, which, along with the change of timbre, give this portion a nice scene change while keeping the overall character of the piece intact. The work then returns to the beginning, but this time with more of the cymbal/metal/ glass sounds added, which shows development. The use of the supplementary sounds is done tastefully and never over- done. 

The only critique of the form is in the coda. It has even more of the energetic gestures from the opening and restatement, but lacks the convincing forward motion that the rest of the piece possesses, making the final chord seem premature. at aside, it is the most active portion of the work, so visually it will be an exciting end to a charming piece of repertoire. 

Even though the accompanying gestures look complicated, each player is given only two or three individual gestures (or groups of five notes), which are repeated several times. This will make learning the piece easier for those who may not be accustomed to keyboard instruments. Also, while the piece calls for a low-E marimba, the bass line can be played up an octave where appropriate so that it can be done on a 4.3-octave instrument without disrupting the other player. It won’t have the same bass effect as the original orchestration, but it will be playable if a 4.6-octave instrument is unavailable. In the end, Thomas Marceau has succeeded in creating a work that can introduce battery players to the world of keyboard percussion.

–Kyle Cherwinski
Percussive Notes
Vol. 57, No. 2, May 2019


You may also like...

Written for percussion ensemble and solo flute, Clockwork plays on the timbral characteristics found in different types of clocks.
Duration: 2:20 | Level: Med-Easy
$32.00
A work in four continuous movements, this percussion ensemble piece portrays a ceremonial sacrifice.
Duration: 7:30 | Level: Medium
$36.00
A trio composed in the name of equality, this piece features hocketed rhythms, soloistic passages, and quasi-melodic lines in a shared setup.
Duration: 6:20 | Level: Med-Advanced
$36.00
This groove-based composition for intermediate percussion ensemble will provide a tour of 4 different musical cultures.
Duration: 8:30 | Level: Medium
$38.00
#TAPSPACE