Minor InfractionMinor Infraction
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Minor Infraction

for percussion ensemble
Level: Med-Advanced
Duration: 4:15
Personnel: 9 or 13 players
Release Date: 2014
Product ID : TSPCE14-008
Price: $45.00
Item #: TSPCE14-008



Description

Masterful composer Rick Dior brings us a short, sweet, and somewhat perilous ride through both light and dark territory. Minor Infraction is scored for 9–13 percussionists, playable as a mallet/timpani-only ensemble or with a full complement of orchestral batterie and some Latin percussion.

This original composition is at once both simple and complex—A sweet yet simple melody expressed very intimately by a lone marimba starts the piece off and is soon joined by other voices in harmonious fashion. Soon after, however, we take a darker path into the woods where things become more uncertain. Complexity creeps out of the woodwork with complex time signatures, extremely fast tempi, and a three-part musical canon performed in the round. Finally, as if awakening from a dream, the piece ends as it began with the solo marimba melody.

Minor Infraction was scored for two mallets only and intended for medium to medium-advanced percussion ensembles. At just over four minutes in length, it goes by quickly but leaves a lasting impression.
 

This piece comes with a full, bound score and includes a CD-ROM containing an audio recording and all individual parts for printing.



Performed by The Woodlands High School percussion ensemble (Andy Salmon–director)

Instrumentation

  • Glockenspiel
  • Xylophone
  • 2 vibraphones
  • Chimes
  • 3 marimbas—(2) low A, (1) low C
  • 4 timpani
  • Drums (snare drum, bongos, congas, bass drum)
  • Cymbals (suspended cymbal, thin crash cymbal)
  • Accessories (3 triangles, Zil-Bell, tambourine, shaker, small gong)

Shared Recordings

Reviews

The simplicity with which this ensemble piece opens, gradually layering unison, and eventually harmonized, mallet voices over a motive based on an arpeggiated minor ninth chord, is particularly mesmerizing. The groove that emerges after the opening phrase seems trite and lacks some of the rhythmic creativity of the initial material, but makes particularly effective use of selected orchestration, including numerous keyboard percussion instruments and tasteful metal percussion color sounds. Following this brief interlude and another fermata, the tempo increases and the rhythmic energy and creativity return in sections of ostinati and melodic phrases with differing metric lengths, passages of driving accent patterns over rapidly changing time signatures, and a final section of multiple layered melodic lines. Non-pitched percussion colors include snare drum with brushes, congas, tambourine, shaker, and bongos. The full ensemble eventually re- turns to a brief reiteration of the opening, slower motive, and a final closing ensemble chord.

Each keyboard part requires only two mallets, and the writing is repetitive and either stepwise or chordal in nature, so it would be particularly accessible to high school percussionists. Given the rhythmic creatively and layered effects, however, each player in the ensemble will need to demonstrate a confident approach to often very independent lines. The performance notes suggest that the piece could be played as a keyboard ensemble plus timpani (nine players rather than the 13 required for the full ensemble), but it seems like some of the creativity in orchestration may be lost in that reduction. Regardless, Rick Dior has created an excellent new work for medium to large percussion ensemble that will definitely be programmed with one of my ensembles in the near future.

—Josh Gottry
Percussive Notes
Vol. 53, No. 2, March 2015

Description

Masterful composer Rick Dior brings us a short, sweet, and somewhat perilous ride through both light and dark territory. Minor Infraction is scored for 9–13 percussionists, playable as a mallet/timpani-only ensemble or with a full complement of orchestral batterie and some Latin percussion.

This original composition is at once both simple and complex—A sweet yet simple melody expressed very intimately by a lone marimba starts the piece off and is soon joined by other voices in harmonious fashion. Soon after, however, we take a darker path into the woods where things become more uncertain. Complexity creeps out of the woodwork with complex time signatures, extremely fast tempi, and a three-part musical canon performed in the round. Finally, as if awakening from a dream, the piece ends as it began with the solo marimba melody.

Minor Infraction was scored for two mallets only and intended for medium to medium-advanced percussion ensembles. At just over four minutes in length, it goes by quickly but leaves a lasting impression.
 

This piece comes with a full, bound score and includes a CD-ROM containing an audio recording and all individual parts for printing.



Performed by The Woodlands High School percussion ensemble (Andy Salmon–director)

Instrumentation

  • Glockenspiel
  • Xylophone
  • 2 vibraphones
  • Chimes
  • 3 marimbas—(2) low A, (1) low C
  • 4 timpani
  • Drums (snare drum, bongos, congas, bass drum)
  • Cymbals (suspended cymbal, thin crash cymbal)
  • Accessories (3 triangles, Zil-Bell, tambourine, shaker, small gong)

Shared Recordings

Reviews

The simplicity with which this ensemble piece opens, gradually layering unison, and eventually harmonized, mallet voices over a motive based on an arpeggiated minor ninth chord, is particularly mesmerizing. The groove that emerges after the opening phrase seems trite and lacks some of the rhythmic creativity of the initial material, but makes particularly effective use of selected orchestration, including numerous keyboard percussion instruments and tasteful metal percussion color sounds. Following this brief interlude and another fermata, the tempo increases and the rhythmic energy and creativity return in sections of ostinati and melodic phrases with differing metric lengths, passages of driving accent patterns over rapidly changing time signatures, and a final section of multiple layered melodic lines. Non-pitched percussion colors include snare drum with brushes, congas, tambourine, shaker, and bongos. The full ensemble eventually re- turns to a brief reiteration of the opening, slower motive, and a final closing ensemble chord.

Each keyboard part requires only two mallets, and the writing is repetitive and either stepwise or chordal in nature, so it would be particularly accessible to high school percussionists. Given the rhythmic creatively and layered effects, however, each player in the ensemble will need to demonstrate a confident approach to often very independent lines. The performance notes suggest that the piece could be played as a keyboard ensemble plus timpani (nine players rather than the 13 required for the full ensemble), but it seems like some of the creativity in orchestration may be lost in that reduction. Regardless, Rick Dior has created an excellent new work for medium to large percussion ensemble that will definitely be programmed with one of my ensembles in the near future.

—Josh Gottry
Percussive Notes
Vol. 53, No. 2, March 2015



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