Pale Blue Dot (Download)Pale Blue Dot (Download)
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Pale Blue Dot (Download)

for solo marimba
Level: Advanced
Duration: 7:15
State Lists: Texas | Florida
Release Date: 2023
Product ID : TSPCS23-001DL
Price: $19.00
Item #: TSPCS23-001DL

Formats Available:


Description

Pale Blue Dot by Alex Stopa is an advanced level four-mallet marimba solo based on the imagery of Earth taken by the Voyager 1 spacecraft. Shot from four billion miles away, the photograph shows our home planet, Earth, as a tiny point of pale blue light, barely visible in the enormity of space. Stopa notes that the image is at once humbling and awe-inspiring, highlighting the fleeting nature of human existence. The piece draws its emotional thread from a quote by American astronomer Carl Sagan that accompanied the photo. Sagan’s message stressed the importance of compassion and preservation of our planet.

Pale Blue Dot is a thought-provoking marimba solo that offers the performer unique musical and technical challenges. Repeated sextuplets flutter across the instrument creating a weightless and sparkling effect throughout the work. These patterns are encouraged to be performed in the same manner as a chorale with consideration toward melody, harmonic motion, and voice leading. The performer can play these figures in both triple lateral or single alternating sticking combinations.

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

Instrumentation

Marimba — 5-octave

Reviews

In his program notes, composer Alex Stopa writes: “In 1990 an incredible portrait of planet Earth was captured by the Voyager 1 spacecraft. Taken from a distance of four billion miles, the photograph shows our home planet, Earth, as a tiny point of pale light, barely visible in the enor- mity of space. The image is at once humbling and awe-inspiring, highlighting the fleeting nature of human existence in the vastness of our universe.

“Accompanying the image of this ‘pale blue dot’ is an extraordinary quote from American astronomer Carl Sagan (available online at the Planetary Society’s website). Some 30 years later, as civilization places ever-increasing demands on our planet, Sagan’s message of compassion and preservation resonates with an even greater urgency.”

“Pale Blue Dot” for five-octave marimba was commissioned through a consortium organized by Dr. Jeffery Crowell and 12 other individuals. It opens and closes with a constant sextuplet rhythm that provides an accompaniment to accented melodic pitches (almost minimalistic in its effect). Additional sections provide contrast, creating a mosaic of almost chorale-like content. Effective dynamic control and sensitivity to rubato transitions provide a unique aural tone-painting to the composer’s awe and wonder of Earth’s existence as a “pale blue dot.” This composition would be appropriate for a mature, skilled four-mallet marimbist.

—Jim Lambert
Percussive Notes
Vol. 61, No. 3, June 2023

Description

Pale Blue Dot by Alex Stopa is an advanced level four-mallet marimba solo based on the imagery of Earth taken by the Voyager 1 spacecraft. Shot from four billion miles away, the photograph shows our home planet, Earth, as a tiny point of pale blue light, barely visible in the enormity of space. Stopa notes that the image is at once humbling and awe-inspiring, highlighting the fleeting nature of human existence. The piece draws its emotional thread from a quote by American astronomer Carl Sagan that accompanied the photo. Sagan’s message stressed the importance of compassion and preservation of our planet.

Pale Blue Dot is a thought-provoking marimba solo that offers the performer unique musical and technical challenges. Repeated sextuplets flutter across the instrument creating a weightless and sparkling effect throughout the work. These patterns are encouraged to be performed in the same manner as a chorale with consideration toward melody, harmonic motion, and voice leading. The performer can play these figures in both triple lateral or single alternating sticking combinations.

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

Instrumentation

Marimba — 5-octave

Reviews

In his program notes, composer Alex Stopa writes: “In 1990 an incredible portrait of planet Earth was captured by the Voyager 1 spacecraft. Taken from a distance of four billion miles, the photograph shows our home planet, Earth, as a tiny point of pale light, barely visible in the enor- mity of space. The image is at once humbling and awe-inspiring, highlighting the fleeting nature of human existence in the vastness of our universe.

“Accompanying the image of this ‘pale blue dot’ is an extraordinary quote from American astronomer Carl Sagan (available online at the Planetary Society’s website). Some 30 years later, as civilization places ever-increasing demands on our planet, Sagan’s message of compassion and preservation resonates with an even greater urgency.”

“Pale Blue Dot” for five-octave marimba was commissioned through a consortium organized by Dr. Jeffery Crowell and 12 other individuals. It opens and closes with a constant sextuplet rhythm that provides an accompaniment to accented melodic pitches (almost minimalistic in its effect). Additional sections provide contrast, creating a mosaic of almost chorale-like content. Effective dynamic control and sensitivity to rubato transitions provide a unique aural tone-painting to the composer’s awe and wonder of Earth’s existence as a “pale blue dot.” This composition would be appropriate for a mature, skilled four-mallet marimbist.

—Jim Lambert
Percussive Notes
Vol. 61, No. 3, June 2023


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