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Quick Blood (Percussion Quartet)


Genre: Percussion Ensemble
# of Players: 4
Level: Medium Difficult | Duration: 4:45
Publisher: C. Alan Publications | Copyright: 2020

Download mp3 | Click on images to left for score sample

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Notes & Instrumentation
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  • Notes & Instrumentation

    Quick Blood is a rhythmically vigorous quartet centered around mallet instruments, with carefully layered combinations and hockets and a pounding bass drum feature. Silverman’s first work for percussion ensemble, this music was composed in 2001 for percussionists Paul Fadoul, Matt Strauss, Douglas Wallace, and Cynthia Yeh as “Battery Four.”

    Genre: Percussion Ensemble | # of Players: 4
    Level: Medium Difficult | Duration: 4:45

    Percussion 1: Marimba 1 (5-octave; shared with P. 4), Large Concert Bass Drum, Triangle
    Percussion 2: Marimba 2 (5-octave)
    Percussion 3: Vibraphone 1
    Percussion 4: Marimba 1 (5-octave; shared with P. 1), Triangle, Crotales (2 octaves), Xylophone, Vibraphone 2

    Program Notes
    Quick Blood" was composed in 2001, and it is mostly for mallet instruments (marimbas, vibraphones, xylophone) often in the “four hands” method of having two people simultaneously share an instrument. Melodies are passed note-by-note back and forth from one marimba to the other, creating a special kind of stereo sound. The music is "tonal," meaning that it uses the sorts of diatonic harmonies that are common to much older classical music. It is rhythmically very vigorous, with a feeling of perpetual motion. There is also a very dramatic use of the large orchestral bass drum. The title "Quick Blood" comes from Silverman's orchestra piece "Her Quick Blood Runs Dancing," of which this percussion quartet is a slightly expanded and embellished re-orchestration of the middle movement. The original, longer title is itself taken from a poem written in 1640 by Thomas Carew, a contemporary of Shakespeare. It's a love-poem sung by chorus in the orchestral work that Silverman chose to continue a series of works that address historical conflicts between religion and science:

    Fond man, thou canst believe her blood
    Will from those purple channels flow;
    Or that the pure untainted flood
    Can any foul distemper know;
    Or that thy weak steel can incise
    The crystal case wherein it lies.

    Know, her quick blood, proud of its seat,
    Runs dancing through her azure veins;
    Whose harmony no cold nor heat
    Disturbs, whose hue no tincture stains:
    And the hard rock wherein it dwells
    The keenest darts of love repels.

    But thou repli'st, “behold, she bleeds!”
    Fool! Thou'rt deceived, and dost not know
    The mystic know whence this proceeds,
    How lovers in each other grow:
    Thou struck'st her arm, but 'twas my heart
    Shed all the blood, felt all the smart.

    - note by Ted Wilks (2002) for the Delaware Symphony

  • Video

    • Quick Blood

      Quick Blood, composed by Adam Silverman. Performed by the University of South Alabama Percussion Ensemble (Luis Rivera and Matt Greenwood, directors) at the Collide Contemporary Percussion Festival 2015.
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