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Metro (Download)

for solo marimba and multimedia
Level: Advanced
Duration: 7:30
Release Date: 2021
Product ID : TSPCS21-004DL
Price: $24.00
Item #: TSPCS21-004DL

Formats Available:


Description

Russell Wharton’s Metro is an homage to one of humanity’s greatest achievements; our bustling metropolitan centers. In his own words, Wharton describes our major cities as “both awe-inspiring and deeply frightening,’’ which also perfectly captures the variety of emotions contained within this multimedia piece for solo marimba. At one moment, the music is bright and reverential, at another moment, it’s dark, mysterious, and filled with introspection.

From a performance standpoint, the piece requires a broad range of advanced techniques that will highlight the virtuosity of today’s marimba artist. The solo also features a required audio accompanying track and an optional accompanying video, with stunning shots of some of the worlds most populous and advanced metropolitan centers.



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

Instrumentation

Solo marimba (low A)

Amplification system (for included audio accompaniment)

Projection system (for optional video accompaniment)

Reviews

In many ways, “Metro” is a decidedly cinematic work. Even if one were to ignore the visually breathtaking premade video meant to accompany live performances, there is an undeniable narrative thread running throughout the 7½-minute work, as well as an unapologetic evocation of film score pastiche in the electronics.

For all of the attention directed towards the virtuosity of the soloist, I felt that the electronics are on equal footing with the marimba, rather than subserviently accompanimental. Indeed, midway through the piece there is a nearly full-minute stretch where the solo performer ceases any contribution and allows the electronics to monopolize the stage. Few performers will complain about this respite; however, for the majority of “Metro,” the marimbas is engaged in a moto perpetuo-esque production of rhythmic and melodic streams, and the pause in the middle will undoubtedly be a welcome chance for most to catch their breath.

Some of the techniques commonly associated with marimba virtuosity, such as one-handed rolls and double or triple lateral strokes, are either omitted or somewhat diluted by the concurrent electronics. Instead, the technical demand of the piece lies chiefly in testing the performer’s endurance, both physical and in terms of staying synchronized with the electronics through many changes in meter and texture. A click track is provided, but I wonder if using it would lessen the intended display of virtuosity.

“Metro” has a strong central concept that is executed effectively, to the point where I would compare it to successful marching percussion shows. It knows the value of theatricality and makes no apologies for telling its story in ALL-CAPS, and audiences who may not be familiar with the marimba will nonetheless find the experience impressive and memorable.

—Brian Graiser
Percussive Notes
Vol. 60, No. 1, February 2022

Description

Russell Wharton’s Metro is an homage to one of humanity’s greatest achievements; our bustling metropolitan centers. In his own words, Wharton describes our major cities as “both awe-inspiring and deeply frightening,’’ which also perfectly captures the variety of emotions contained within this multimedia piece for solo marimba. At one moment, the music is bright and reverential, at another moment, it’s dark, mysterious, and filled with introspection.

From a performance standpoint, the piece requires a broad range of advanced techniques that will highlight the virtuosity of today’s marimba artist. The solo also features a required audio accompanying track and an optional accompanying video, with stunning shots of some of the worlds most populous and advanced metropolitan centers.



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

Instrumentation

Solo marimba (low A)

Amplification system (for included audio accompaniment)

Projection system (for optional video accompaniment)

Reviews

In many ways, “Metro” is a decidedly cinematic work. Even if one were to ignore the visually breathtaking premade video meant to accompany live performances, there is an undeniable narrative thread running throughout the 7½-minute work, as well as an unapologetic evocation of film score pastiche in the electronics.

For all of the attention directed towards the virtuosity of the soloist, I felt that the electronics are on equal footing with the marimba, rather than subserviently accompanimental. Indeed, midway through the piece there is a nearly full-minute stretch where the solo performer ceases any contribution and allows the electronics to monopolize the stage. Few performers will complain about this respite; however, for the majority of “Metro,” the marimbas is engaged in a moto perpetuo-esque production of rhythmic and melodic streams, and the pause in the middle will undoubtedly be a welcome chance for most to catch their breath.

Some of the techniques commonly associated with marimba virtuosity, such as one-handed rolls and double or triple lateral strokes, are either omitted or somewhat diluted by the concurrent electronics. Instead, the technical demand of the piece lies chiefly in testing the performer’s endurance, both physical and in terms of staying synchronized with the electronics through many changes in meter and texture. A click track is provided, but I wonder if using it would lessen the intended display of virtuosity.

“Metro” has a strong central concept that is executed effectively, to the point where I would compare it to successful marching percussion shows. It knows the value of theatricality and makes no apologies for telling its story in ALL-CAPS, and audiences who may not be familiar with the marimba will nonetheless find the experience impressive and memorable.

—Brian Graiser
Percussive Notes
Vol. 60, No. 1, February 2022


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