Unforced RhythmsUnforced Rhythms
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Unforced Rhythms

for solo marimba
Level: Med-Advanced
Duration: 4:05
State Lists: Texas | Missouri | Indiana | Florida
Release Date: 2011
Product ID : TSPCS-26
Price: $16.00
Item #: TSPCS-26

Formats Available:


Description

Unforced Rhythms is a mesmerizing solo for marimba which also calls for an ankle shaker. Primarily in seven, Brian Blume has crafted a graceful piece that teases barlines between the polymetered but unwavering rhythms of hands and feet. According to the composer, "The aim of this piece is to capture the idea of walking and working through life but “freely and lightly,” according to 'the unforced rhythms of grace.'”"

This piece comes as a professionally bound folio.

Performed by Brian Blume.

Instrumentation

  • Marimba—low C
  • Ankle shaker (or foot shaker)


Note: This piece can be performed ona 4.3-octave, low A marimba with a few substitutions (noted in the score).

Reviews

Inspired by a biblical verse, Brian Blume aims to elicit a placid mood with the piece.  With all but four measures in 7/16, one may question the ability to progress with a sense of freedom.  It is the way in which the composer uses permutation-based motives that allows the performer to portray the character of the work.  Each section revolves largely around one permutation, which also affects the contour.  

With all sections strongly emphasizing the four-plus-three rhythmic grouping of sixteenth notes, the first section ascends every measure and the second section descends every measure.  The third section descends on the grouping of four notes and ascends on the grouping of three notes of each measure.  The last section is an elaboration on the first.  Thus, this regularity makes the piece very manageable for an intermediate collegiate marimbist. 

There is also a consistency in technique and interval use.  The left hand uses primarily alternating and double lateral strokes at intervals of a fifth, fourth, and second, while the right hand uses single independent strokes, double lateral strokes, and double vertical strokes utilizing intervals from a second to an octave.

While the above material is all well and good, the motives are not limited to the performer's hands.  Blume blurs the perceived rhythmic pulse by adding an ankle or foot shaker.  With the hands emphasizing the four-plus-three grouping, the shaker creates tension by consistently inflecting every four sixteenth notes.  The limb independence may cause a struggle for some performers, but the composer suggests that for the piece to be well received it must be performed with "confidence and ease."  Stability is eventually achieved as the hands and feet align on a similar rhythmic idea.

Suitable for a senior recital, the nature of this piece would also translate to a non-traditional performance venue. An audience that enjoys a jazz combo, such as at a coffee shop or small bar, will likely be satisfied with the combination of fluidity and groove.

–Darin Olson
Percussive Notes
Vol. 50, No. 4, July 2012

Description

Unforced Rhythms is a mesmerizing solo for marimba which also calls for an ankle shaker. Primarily in seven, Brian Blume has crafted a graceful piece that teases barlines between the polymetered but unwavering rhythms of hands and feet. According to the composer, "The aim of this piece is to capture the idea of walking and working through life but “freely and lightly,” according to 'the unforced rhythms of grace.'”"

This piece comes as a professionally bound folio.

Performed by Brian Blume.

Instrumentation

  • Marimba—low C
  • Ankle shaker (or foot shaker)


Note: This piece can be performed ona 4.3-octave, low A marimba with a few substitutions (noted in the score).

Reviews

Inspired by a biblical verse, Brian Blume aims to elicit a placid mood with the piece.  With all but four measures in 7/16, one may question the ability to progress with a sense of freedom.  It is the way in which the composer uses permutation-based motives that allows the performer to portray the character of the work.  Each section revolves largely around one permutation, which also affects the contour.  

With all sections strongly emphasizing the four-plus-three rhythmic grouping of sixteenth notes, the first section ascends every measure and the second section descends every measure.  The third section descends on the grouping of four notes and ascends on the grouping of three notes of each measure.  The last section is an elaboration on the first.  Thus, this regularity makes the piece very manageable for an intermediate collegiate marimbist. 

There is also a consistency in technique and interval use.  The left hand uses primarily alternating and double lateral strokes at intervals of a fifth, fourth, and second, while the right hand uses single independent strokes, double lateral strokes, and double vertical strokes utilizing intervals from a second to an octave.

While the above material is all well and good, the motives are not limited to the performer's hands.  Blume blurs the perceived rhythmic pulse by adding an ankle or foot shaker.  With the hands emphasizing the four-plus-three grouping, the shaker creates tension by consistently inflecting every four sixteenth notes.  The limb independence may cause a struggle for some performers, but the composer suggests that for the piece to be well received it must be performed with "confidence and ease."  Stability is eventually achieved as the hands and feet align on a similar rhythmic idea.

Suitable for a senior recital, the nature of this piece would also translate to a non-traditional performance venue. An audience that enjoys a jazz combo, such as at a coffee shop or small bar, will likely be satisfied with the combination of fluidity and groove.

–Darin Olson
Percussive Notes
Vol. 50, No. 4, July 2012



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