Music

Have a seat, relax, and take a listen to the wonderful timbre of the piano and marimba combination. We hope you enjoy!

Dreadlocked (2001) was originally written for amplified violin, cello and marimba, electric guitar, and keyboard by Marc Mellits. It was subsequently arranged for Ricochet Duo, the piano and marimba collaboration of Rose Chancler and Jane Boxall, in 2009 by the composer with the title Postcards of Dreadlock.

Pleiades Dances is a series of solo piano pieces written by contemporary Japanese composer Takashi Yoshimatsu. They are, in the words of the composer, “a newly conceived set of preludes for the modern piano which takes its material from the seven colours of the rainbow, the seven pitches of church modes, and seven metrical units ranging from three to nine beats.” *

The Pleiades Dances were written between 1986 and 2001 in sets ranging from I to IX. Each set of Pleiades Dances contains 7 movements, which “are not placed in the order in which they appear in the work for any specific structural or contextual reasons, nor should too much be read into the curious titles [he gave] them.” * Yoshimatsu, in the preface to these works, encourages free interpretation of these pieces “including tempo, dynamics and frequency of repetition,” and suggests that “It may also be enjoyable to play along with the rhythm by a small percussion instrument like the triangle or the tambourine.”  Each set, however, seems internally dependent, so that within one set of 7, the order can be freely arranged, but the character of each set differs noticeably between each set.

The Pleiades are a star cluster in the constellation Taurus.

* Yoshimatsu, Takashi (1996). Introduction by the Composer. In Takashi Yoshimatsu: Pleiades Dances (p. 5) [CD liner notes]. DENON RECORDS/Nippon-Columbia Co., Ltd.

Harry Breuer (1901-1989), one of the great mallet players and composer of highly original xylophone solos such as “Back Talk,” “On the Woodpile” and “Bit O’ Rhythm,” achieved fame in the 1920s when he was a soloist in the big United States movie houses. He broadcasted from New York’s Roxy Theater, played the major radio shows during the 1920s and ’30s, recorded for Warner Bros. and Fox Movietone, and finally joined the NBC radio staff where he played for such conductors as Robert Russell Bennett and Skitch Henderson. In the 1940s and 1950s Breuer was featured in several films, and during the 1950s he recorded four feature record albums including Mallet Magic. Leaving broadcasting in the 1960s, he continued as a freelance artist and joined Carroll Sound in New York as a consultant. *

* Profile from the Percussive Arts Society (PAS)

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