Featuring a balanced ensemble of pitched and un-pitched percussion, Earth Dance is an exciting ensemble work that is audience-(and dance) friendly and would make a great concert opener for a high school or college group.
Genre: Percussion Ensemble | # of Players: 8
Level: Medium | Duration: 3:00
Marimba 1 (4-octave)
Marimba 2 (4.3-octave)
Percussion 1 (Cabasa, Congas, China Cymbal, Djembe)
Percussion 2 (Claves, Bongos)
Percussion 3 (Triangle, Temple Blocks, Concert Bass Drum)
Percussion 4 (Sizzle Cymbal, 4 Concert Toms)
Earth Dance is the end result of an earlier commission by the Kansas State University Percussion Ensemble and was originally intended to be a marimba quartet. While changing circumstances resulted in me writing an entirely new piece for the ensemble, I still had some material written that I felt could be put to good use. I decided to retrofit said material into a quasi-theme-and-variations for a balanced ensemble of pitched and non-pitched instruments.
While the form of the piece is absolute in nature, I still inserted plenty of programmatic ideas influenced by the woods around my apartment in Greensboro. I also took some inspiration from Indonesian Gamelan music as well as the soundtrack to the movie Avatar, especially for the piece’s second half where the action gradually reaches a breakneck pace. Whatever you may hear in this piece, I hope it’s as fun to listen to as it was fun to write!