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Meanwhile in a Parallel Universe Redux

for marimba and percussion ensemble
Level: Advanced
Duration: 8:40
Personnel: 9
State Lists: Texas
Release Date: 2012
Product ID : TSPCE-62
Price: $55.00
Item #: TSPCE-62


All percussion sounds used in this recording were generated from Virtual Drumline software also by Tapspace.


Description

Meanwhile in a Parallel Universe is an energetic work by Jim Casella that features a virtuosic solo marimbist accompanied by 8 multipercussionists. Composed in three connected sections, these episodic movements are unique in personality yet closely related through their harmonic and rhythmic DNA.

The composer writes, “Meanwhile in a Parallel Universe is based on the idea that our brief time on this earth can have any number of outcomes depending on the relationships we build, how present we are, and the decisions we make. As our stories evolve, infinite possibilities are created. The result is an adventure filled with both uncertainty and wonder.” 

The solo marimba part is colorful and challenging, employing frequent use of triple laterals, independent techniques, and flourishing runs. The accompaniment stands largely on its own, allowing ensembles to effectively rehearse the piece without the soloist being present. 

The Redux edition, introduced in 2014 and replacing the original, includes an optional short version that results in a 4:40 performance. Also of the full-length version (8:40 duration) has been revised in ways that will help the soloist shine both technically and balance-wise, while also reducing the requirements from the ensemble accompaniment.

This piece comes with a full, bound score and includes a CD-Rom containing an audio recordings and all individual parts (for both the full and short versions) available for printing. 

 

Instrumentation

  • Crotales (1 octave)
  • Glockenspiel
  • Xylophone
  • 2 vibraphones
  • Marimba (4.5-octave, low F)
  • Marimba (4.6-octave, low E)
  • Solo marimba (5-octave, low C)
  • 4 timpani
  • Drums (concert toms, snare drum, concert bass drum, bongos, congas)
  • Cymbals (China cymbal, 4 suspended cymbals, splash cymbal, sizzle cymbal, hi-hat)
  • Accessories (temple blocks, log drum, cowbell, opera gong, mark tree, triangle, bell tree, tam tam, cabasa, brake drum, Zil-bell)

Shared Recordings

Performance by Gifford Howarth and Singapore's Yong Siew Toh Conservatory Percussion Ensemble (Jonathan Fox, director)

Performance by Kyle Bissantz (soloist) and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Percussion Ensemble

Reviews

This version of Jim Casella’s 2010 composition for marimba soloist and percussion ensemble includes some reworking in both the solo marimba part and ensemble parts. The piece is an exciting vehicle for a large ensemble of either advanced high school or college students. The solo marimba part requires an extremely advanced player in order to give an effective performance, as it uses multiple extended techniques throughout the work. Within the ensemble, several mallet parts require four mallets. The timpanist has to be very comfortable with pedaling, as there are multi-measure sections that must be played on a single drum with multiple pitch changes. Two percussion parts contain involved multi-percussion setups and will require skilled players to navigate some of the tricky writing. 

Included with the “Redux” is an optional 4-minute version of the piece that can be used if there are time constraints, and a suggested setup to assist in stage planning. A score is supplied and all parts and mp3 recordings are included on an enclosed disk. 

Both versions (long and short) of the piece are very well written, and would complement any percussion ensemble program. Casella has somewhat limited the accessibility of the piece, due to the extensive instrumentation (especially the use of three marimbas), but I don’t see that being much of an issue, as Casella’s popularity continues to rise.

—Marcus D. Reddick
Percussive Notes
Vol. 53, No. 3, July 2015

Description

Meanwhile in a Parallel Universe is an energetic work by Jim Casella that features a virtuosic solo marimbist accompanied by 8 multipercussionists. Composed in three connected sections, these episodic movements are unique in personality yet closely related through their harmonic and rhythmic DNA.

The composer writes, “Meanwhile in a Parallel Universe is based on the idea that our brief time on this earth can have any number of outcomes depending on the relationships we build, how present we are, and the decisions we make. As our stories evolve, infinite possibilities are created. The result is an adventure filled with both uncertainty and wonder.” 

The solo marimba part is colorful and challenging, employing frequent use of triple laterals, independent techniques, and flourishing runs. The accompaniment stands largely on its own, allowing ensembles to effectively rehearse the piece without the soloist being present. 

The Redux edition, introduced in 2014 and replacing the original, includes an optional short version that results in a 4:40 performance. Also of the full-length version (8:40 duration) has been revised in ways that will help the soloist shine both technically and balance-wise, while also reducing the requirements from the ensemble accompaniment.

This piece comes with a full, bound score and includes a CD-Rom containing an audio recordings and all individual parts (for both the full and short versions) available for printing. 

 

Instrumentation

  • Crotales (1 octave)
  • Glockenspiel
  • Xylophone
  • 2 vibraphones
  • Marimba (4.5-octave, low F)
  • Marimba (4.6-octave, low E)
  • Solo marimba (5-octave, low C)
  • 4 timpani
  • Drums (concert toms, snare drum, concert bass drum, bongos, congas)
  • Cymbals (China cymbal, 4 suspended cymbals, splash cymbal, sizzle cymbal, hi-hat)
  • Accessories (temple blocks, log drum, cowbell, opera gong, mark tree, triangle, bell tree, tam tam, cabasa, brake drum, Zil-bell)

Shared Recordings

Performance by Gifford Howarth and Singapore's Yong Siew Toh Conservatory Percussion Ensemble (Jonathan Fox, director)

Performance by Kyle Bissantz (soloist) and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Percussion Ensemble

Reviews

This version of Jim Casella’s 2010 composition for marimba soloist and percussion ensemble includes some reworking in both the solo marimba part and ensemble parts. The piece is an exciting vehicle for a large ensemble of either advanced high school or college students. The solo marimba part requires an extremely advanced player in order to give an effective performance, as it uses multiple extended techniques throughout the work. Within the ensemble, several mallet parts require four mallets. The timpanist has to be very comfortable with pedaling, as there are multi-measure sections that must be played on a single drum with multiple pitch changes. Two percussion parts contain involved multi-percussion setups and will require skilled players to navigate some of the tricky writing. 

Included with the “Redux” is an optional 4-minute version of the piece that can be used if there are time constraints, and a suggested setup to assist in stage planning. A score is supplied and all parts and mp3 recordings are included on an enclosed disk. 

Both versions (long and short) of the piece are very well written, and would complement any percussion ensemble program. Casella has somewhat limited the accessibility of the piece, due to the extensive instrumentation (especially the use of three marimbas), but I don’t see that being much of an issue, as Casella’s popularity continues to rise.

—Marcus D. Reddick
Percussive Notes
Vol. 53, No. 3, July 2015



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