The Manes Scroll is an imaginative and groundbreaking piece that redefines the sonic possibilities of the keyboard percussion ensemble. Deane uses unique new sounds, such as blowing in the resonators and pitch bends, in tandem with his own brand of serialism to create a haunting work that will leave the audience breathless.
Genre: Percussion Ensemble | # of Players: 10
Level: Difficult | Duration: 11:00
Marimba 1 (4-octave)
Marimba 2 (4.3-octave)
Bass Marimba (5-octave)
The Manes Scroll was commissioned by the OU Percussion Ensemble in the fall of 1983 and completed in March of 1984. The piece was premiered by the University of Oklahoma Percussion Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Richard Gipson in April of 1984. The title comes from the Latin Des Manes, which is a term that represents the collective spirit of the dead. The piece has as its structural motivation an imagined event in which spirits are released from an ancient parchment found deep within the Catacombs beneath the city of Rome, Italy. One requirement of the commission was to use only keyboard percussion instruments. For me, the challenge was to find a new voice within a fairly standard instrumental ensemble. I chose to open the piece by employing a technique that, to my knowledge, had not been used on the resonated keyboard instruments. This technique is the use of exhaled air columns directed into the resonators of the marimbas, vibraphones, and xylophones. Performance Notes The “wind” technique requires the performers to blow into the resonators to produces a “pitched air” effect. In order to have this technique work effectively, the performers should direct their air column towards the edges of the resonator tubes to cut the air column in a similar way that a flute produces sound. It is effective for the pairs of instruments (marimbas, vibraphones, and xylophones) to stagger their entrances so that a longer wind effect is possible. (ex. Marimba I begins the air crescendo and marimba II joins the wind effect just prior to the peak of the crescendo).
About the OU Percussion Press
In 1977 the OU Percussion Orchestra and Ensemble embarked on a project that developed into a national model for the encouragement and development of new music for percussion ensemble. The OU Percussion Ensemble Commissioning Series regularly engages outstanding composers to write works for this medium. The Commissioning Series is responsible for the creation of some of today`s staples in the percussion ensemble repertoire.
In 1983 the University of Oklahoma funded the establishment of the OU Percussion Press, a non-profit extension of the percussion area. Through the Percussion Press, the commissioning series compositions plus other works expressly written for the OU Percussion Orchestra and Ensembles have been made available for purchase and performance by the world`s leading percussion ensembles. The Percussion Press` catalog numbers more than 50 works, all published in a non-profit venture as a service to the profession.