Commissioned by percussionist Oliver Molina, Unchained personifies a battle between two tonal areas. The powerful title of the work represents the energetic character and flow of the piece.
Genre: Solo Marimba with Percussion Ensemble | # of Players: 3 + Solo Marimba
Level: Medium Difficult | Duration: 10:20
Solo Marimba (5-octave)
Percussion 1: Vibraphone (shared), Bass Drum, Woodblock, Temple Blocks, Suspended Cymbal
Percussion 2: Vibraphone (shared), 3 Toms, Woodblock, Tambourine, China Cymbal
Percussion 3: Bells, 2 Congas, Woodblock, Bongos, Splash Cymbal
Unchained was written for my friend Oliver Molina who is currently Assistant Director of Bands at University High School in Orlando, FL. Oliver is also a DMA candidate at the University of Iowa and holds ABD status. Our friendship extends back to our days as students at the University of Central Florida. I wrote this work for Oliver in 2009 and it was premiered in 2010. The piece is both musically and technically demanding for the soloist as well as the accompanying performers. Unchained, as defined, means to be set free. I used the title and the definition as my primary compositional inspiration. For me, the virtuosity of the solo marimba part represents the idea of being set free while selected sections of the piece and the utilization of certain percussion instruments represent being chained or held back. The melodic and harmonic language of the work is derived from the pitches contained in the A-flat major and A major triads. Unchained is an exciting and enjoyable piece for the performers and audience members alike.