This suite of five short, monothematic bagatelles was inspired by the composer's interest in video games and technology. The programmatic movements musically paint vivid images through the captivating marriage of the viola and marimba.
Genre: Duet for Viola and Marimba | # of Players: 2
Level: Medium Difficult | Duration: 12:30
Five Encounters for Viola & Marimba consists of five short, monothematic movements. Composed for violist Michael Capone and premiered in 2014, these five bagatelles were each independently inspired by my interest in video games and technology.
"Sunrise Over Vast Waters" paints a brief musical portrait of what the title implies, but uses a more personal approach, superimposing dissonant pitch collections over a largely pentatonic accompaniment, representing the combination of existential thinking with what many feel to be a natural and beautiful phenomenon.
"I Met the Most Mysterious Man..." was directly influenced by a scene from a video game in which the main characters enter a shop owned by a wizard in a made-up fantasy world. This movement reflects the character and mood of the video game scene's music, but contains completely original material.
"ROBO" is another reflection on a video game, but this time the character being referenced is a futuristic robot of immeasurable strength, which the hero must bring back to life.
"Into a Snowblind," like the opening movement, is meant to create a soundscape, this time of a vast, uninhabitable tundra, within which one would have no hope of survival. There is a juxtaposition of good and bad, as the marimba’s chorale textures at the beginning and end symbolize the undeniable beauty of snowfall, while the dissonance in the viola makes clear the dangers of traveling through a snowblind.
"What is it Like to Fly?" represents not a particular scene, but instead the idea of empowerment and joy that comes with achievement and new experiences. In this case, “flying” is metaphorical and refers to the aforementioned feelings as well as excitement for what the future holds.