Duration: 7 minutes
Instruments: two five octave marimbas, plus two sets of crotales (playable on one set with octave displacement).
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2300 Degrees is a marimba duo commissioned by Annie Stevens and Andrea Venet of Escape Ten percussion duo. They premiered the piece at Spivey Hall at Clayton State University and will feature it at their PASIC 2016 showcase concert. The piece is scored for two 5.0 octave marimbas and two sets of shared crotales.
In the glassblowing art world, 2300 degrees is the temperature at which glass gets interesting. I learned this at Corning Museum of Glass, where I participated in a music + glass event. My band, Break of Reality, performed while Lino Tagliapietra and his team created glass art. Lino is one of the world’s leading glass artists, and getting to work with him was truly special.
Watching a glassblowing team work together to shape glass into art is beautiful, but for me, the large scale feeling of tension and release is by far the most exhilarating part. Forming and manipulating molten glass is a high pressure situation that can be dangerous for the artist and their team, and one mistake can completely alter or ruin the art piece. When you add a live audience, the level of drama is amplified even further. When an art piece is completed, it is a joyous moment, a true release of tension for both the team and the audience watching.
With 2300 Degrees, I wanted to recreate this same feeling through music, one that would put both performers and audiences on edge. The piece features a stream of constant rhythms weaved together via poly-metric ideas. In addition, there are moments where performers simultaneously share each other’s instruments, or perform on a marimba while also playing crotales.
The end result is the most relentless, technically challenging duo I’ve ever written.