Depicting a musical "walk" across the Brooklyn Bridge, this work conveys the energy and movement of walkers, bikers, and automobiles flowing across the walkway and the roadbeds below it
Genre: Marimba (4-mallet) | # of Players: 1
Level: Medium Difficult | Duration: 8:00
Solo Marimba (5-octave)
The Great East River Bridge is probably better known, at least to New Yorkers, as the Brooklyn Bridge. To me, it is one of the most distinctive and graceful pieces of architecture in the City, and certainly one of the most beautiful bridges ever built. It recently made a prominent appearance in photographs of New Yorkers filling its pedestrian walkway and traffic lanes on their way home during the great August 2003 blackout!
In composing The Great East River Bridge I have tried not so much to describe the bridge as to create a musical impression of a walk across it, an experience I have had many times. The musical structure does, however, correspond in a general way to the symmetry of the bridge itself.
The opening, quiet and somewhat improvisatory in style, suggests the stately approach to the bridge from the Brooklyn side. That is followed by a fast, agitated passage that tries to convey the energy and movement of walkers, bikers, and automobiles flowing across the walkway and the roadbeds below it. That passage leads directly to a broad, diatonic maestoso section that leads to a second maestoso "tower" passage, richer and more vituosic than the first. A third "traffic" section broadens out into a varied return of the opening "approach" music, as the walker descends into Manhattan.
The Great East River Bridge is the result of a commission by Nathan Daughtrey, whose superb musicianship and virtuosity were both an inspiration and a challenge, and who taught me much about how to write effectively for the marimba.