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Jazz or Jass? (2015)
Jazz or Jass? was originally on my album “Assorted Mallets” with guitar, bass, drums, and all (please see albums section to check this version out!) A jazz tune inspired by the fact that the word evolved over time. My first jazz tune I ever wrote. Then, I arranged it a little for marimba and trumpet, and after performing it – I transcribed our performance of it! Please enjoy Jazz or Jass?
The original title of this work is TYGG, an acronym that stands for “Thank You Guy Gregg.” The story: In 2011, I released an album of my music, funding the project using a Kickstarter page. For a certain donation level I personally recorded a composition of me singing “thank you” while playing marimba. The basic groove and theme for this work was what I sent Guy for his patronage.
Don and DJ Palmire are very inspiring in their work with euphonium & marimba. Having heard their duo and collaborated with them before, I was attracted to their sound and I started to write using the pre-existing theme and groove. Soon, an entire new work of art was created and Emergent was born.
Emergent opens with a dark and intimidating melody for the euphonium, which is passed to the marimba player. Imagine sunlight trying to make its way through clouds, and after the fight – the light waves finally break through with a triumphant arrival! This intro section floods the mind with linear movement before swiftly moving into a groove presented by marimba. The influence of jazz melodies and chords starts to show in the work and euphonium takes over in a melodic role with marimba accompaniment. This section represents that same light wave going on an adventure. Once escaping the clouds, the light waves get to bounce off of different objects and that changes its groove and harmony! In the end, the light is everywhere. The melody from the intro comes back and mixes with the adventure groove, creating an all-encompassing musical version of this lightly clouded adventure… Enjoy Emergent! (emergent is four hours and 20 minutes into this youtube link)
This marimba trio was written right after working with Colin O’Day, Jordan Kamps on Ivan Trevino’s new marimba trio called “Open Your Eyes.” Such an inspiring experience to play the music and work with the composer that I had to write one!
Mikayla (for euphonium and marimba) originally existed as a jazz chart for vibraphone and marimba. After listening to a recording of my friend Kayla Berndt and I playing the work in a “head-solos-head” structure, I knew it had potential to turn into something more. I then transcribed parts of the solos and worked with wonderful friend and excellent musician, Steven Darling (euphonium), in altering the part to make the vibraphone solo lines more idiomatic for brass. A lyrical section was also inspired during this particular arrangement of the piece, showing the beauty of the euphonium’s tone, the ambience of marimba rolls and the change of mood before the main theme’s restatement.
There are many differences between the original composition/solos and the current work/transcriptions, but the ending product is a notated part for both players that also provides chords over which to improvise. The players may play exactly what is written or use the chords to experiment with improvisation. The marimba accompaniment part is even labeled “ad lib.” to indicate that manipulation of the groove is encouraged. Composed in a jazz/classical style and an improvisatory fashion, Mikayla: for euphonium and marimba opens areas of playing that are not commonly explored on euphonium and marimba.
This clarinet flute duet was written for “The Duetto Project” out of Milwaukee, WI. The piece includes beatbox techniques in the flute part and one movement includes a hip hop groove in the form of digital media to be played during the performance!
Five Short Works for Marimba & Guitar
(including A Cool Breeze, A Cool Groove, Marisol, Cango & Hope)
These works are the result of continuous collaborations between cousins Raul Bonde and Mike Neumeyer. As composers, Mike and Raul bring works to each other as well as collaborate together to create music. Co-composing music has been and will forever be a wonderful endeavor for them! The works are a mixture of two compositions by Raul and three more works written together. All works are relatively short and simple, leaving room for interpretation as well as improvisation.
Tension Relief is an idiomatic work for solo marimba replicating some minor tonalities and dissonance or “Tension” and a softer, more mellow middle section to contrast with the notion of “Relief.” This piece was written while studying standard intermediate marimba repertoire, making it a great piece for college students!
Secret Song is a very approachable marimba solo! Please check out the recording (and click “Add to Cart”)
June is such a catchy melody with many parts to be played. Are you a percussionist with a group of friends that you want to play a piece with? This piece includes marimba, piano, drumset, flute, trumpet, voices and a fun attitude! Listen to this track and leave with a new melody stuck in your head!