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Memory's Lens

for percussion sextet
Level: Medium
Duration: 3:40
Personnel: 6 players
State Lists: Missouri | Texas | Florida
Release Date: 2023
Product ID : TSPCE22-032
Price: $39.00
Item #: TSPCE22-032

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Description

Memory's Lens by Clayton Stroup is an interpretive percussion sextet based on the way one feels when remembering their earliest childhood. Throughout the work, feelings of nostalgia, familiarity, and fleeting memories are formed through the use of various metallic and percussive voices. The metallic voices, vibraphones and cup chimes, emulate wind chimes at Stroup’s grandparents’ house. The drums and percussive parts are representative of the “ordered chaos of how memories are formed and change subtly over the years.” While not overly complex in terms of technical skill, this piece provides performers with a great canvas to learn and explore the relationship between interrelated parts and musical nuance.

Memory’s Lens ships as a printed, professionally bound score and includes individual parts in PDF format for printing or tablet viewing.

Instrumentation

2 vibraphones

Drums — bongos, 4 concert toms, mounted kick drum (shared), snare drum 

Cymbals & gongs — 4 cup chimes*, 2 suspended cymbals (shared)

Accessories — brake drum, castanets, sleigh bells, tambourine, 3 woodblocks (high to low)

*can substitute Zil-bels, cymbal bells, or finger cymbals

Reviews

“Memory’s Lens” is an ambient and hypnotic piece scored for two vibraphone players and four players on non-pitched instruments. At just over 3½ minutes in length, it could serve as a palate cleanser on a program of denser or longer works. The composer states the piece “is a musical at- tempt to capture the way one feels when remembering their earliest childhood...Wind chimes on my grandparent’s porch are some of my first personal memories, represented in this piece by vibraphones as well as cup chimes. The drums and auxiliary percussion parts are meant to embody the ordered chaos of how memories are formed and change subtly over the years.”

The melodic aspects of the piece are generated by the two vibraphones, on which recurring single-note motives are scored in spacious-sounding hockets and hemiolas. This is coupled with suspended cymbal figures in the same parts that act to anchor the phrases with downbeats. Although the writing is limited to eighth notes and slower rhythms, a certain level of coordination will be necessary for younger players to execute these parts. The other four parts consist of quarter-, eighth-, and sixteenth-note figures with varying accents, making them appropriate for less advanced players.

The biggest challenge in preparing this piece will be maintaining balance between the two vibraphones and the other parts. There are moments when the snare drum or concert tom parts could easily bury the melody, so special attention to dynamics, stick choice, and perhaps muting will be necessary. If a conductor is used, this piece would certainly be appropriate for an intermediate high school percussion ensemble. However, if performed without a conductor, it could be a nice introduction to chamber playing for a beginning college group.

—Jason Baker
Percussive Notes
Vol. 61, No. 3, June 2023

Description

Memory's Lens by Clayton Stroup is an interpretive percussion sextet based on the way one feels when remembering their earliest childhood. Throughout the work, feelings of nostalgia, familiarity, and fleeting memories are formed through the use of various metallic and percussive voices. The metallic voices, vibraphones and cup chimes, emulate wind chimes at Stroup’s grandparents’ house. The drums and percussive parts are representative of the “ordered chaos of how memories are formed and change subtly over the years.” While not overly complex in terms of technical skill, this piece provides performers with a great canvas to learn and explore the relationship between interrelated parts and musical nuance.

Memory’s Lens ships as a printed, professionally bound score and includes individual parts in PDF format for printing or tablet viewing.

Instrumentation

2 vibraphones

Drums — bongos, 4 concert toms, mounted kick drum (shared), snare drum 

Cymbals & gongs — 4 cup chimes*, 2 suspended cymbals (shared)

Accessories — brake drum, castanets, sleigh bells, tambourine, 3 woodblocks (high to low)

*can substitute Zil-bels, cymbal bells, or finger cymbals

Reviews

“Memory’s Lens” is an ambient and hypnotic piece scored for two vibraphone players and four players on non-pitched instruments. At just over 3½ minutes in length, it could serve as a palate cleanser on a program of denser or longer works. The composer states the piece “is a musical at- tempt to capture the way one feels when remembering their earliest childhood...Wind chimes on my grandparent’s porch are some of my first personal memories, represented in this piece by vibraphones as well as cup chimes. The drums and auxiliary percussion parts are meant to embody the ordered chaos of how memories are formed and change subtly over the years.”

The melodic aspects of the piece are generated by the two vibraphones, on which recurring single-note motives are scored in spacious-sounding hockets and hemiolas. This is coupled with suspended cymbal figures in the same parts that act to anchor the phrases with downbeats. Although the writing is limited to eighth notes and slower rhythms, a certain level of coordination will be necessary for younger players to execute these parts. The other four parts consist of quarter-, eighth-, and sixteenth-note figures with varying accents, making them appropriate for less advanced players.

The biggest challenge in preparing this piece will be maintaining balance between the two vibraphones and the other parts. There are moments when the snare drum or concert tom parts could easily bury the melody, so special attention to dynamics, stick choice, and perhaps muting will be necessary. If a conductor is used, this piece would certainly be appropriate for an intermediate high school percussion ensemble. However, if performed without a conductor, it could be a nice introduction to chamber playing for a beginning college group.

—Jason Baker
Percussive Notes
Vol. 61, No. 3, June 2023


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