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Zachary Merritt, saxophone
Pamela Johnson, piano
Aaron Statler, percussion
This recital is being presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Composition. Mr. Merritt is a student in the saxophone studio of Dr. Edwin Bingham.
Growing up in the sixties with blues, jazz and rock, American music had a strong impact on my work. In GRAB IT! I tried to explore the 'no-man's-land' between language and music. I believe that language is one of the origins of music. So in my opinion, the roots of a lot of Afro-American music can be found in the spoken word. The musical quality of speech increases by the power of emotion, which is one of the reasons I use audio from people in extremely emotional situations. Grab it! is based on voice samples from life-sentenced prisoners. Their world, on the fringe of society, with its heartbreaking verbal assaults moved and inspired me. The rough vitality of these shouting men formed a perfect unity with the harsh and powerful sound of the tenor saxophone. GRAB IT! is a kind of duet, a 'dual' (sic) if you like, for tenor and soundtrack. The tenor competes in unison with a perpetual range of syllables, words and sentences, which demands intense endurance from the performer. The meaning of the lyrics becomes gradually clear during the piece, as well as the hopeless situation for the prisoners. In jail suicide is not uncommon: 'He tied one end around the pipe, and he hung himself. So he went out the back door rapped [sic] up in a green sheet with a tag on his toe....You lose everything!' Death row is a metaphor for life. Yet the piece is not just sad, but can also be understood as a 'memento vivere'. Life is worth living: Grab it! -JacobTv
and the Lord said •••
When I was a young child growing up in the Baptist church I was always fascinated with the sounds that occur there. From the sound of the organ to the way the choir would sing the hymns I would always be completely immersed in the experience. And the Lord said ... is a piece that is based upon the sounds I heard as a child in the Baptist church. The piece follows the basic outline of the service; there are the sounds of the pastor greeting the individuals as he walks in, the opening hymn, the first prayer, the offertory, the second hymn, the sermon, and finishing with the closing hymn. However, this piece is a sermon heard through the ears of a child so the child's mind may start wandering as the service goes on. - Zack Merritt
Smith Recital Hall
recitals, saxophone, piano, percussion, sonatas
Arts and Humanities | Fine Arts | Music | Music Performance
Merritt, Zachary, "Marshall University Music Department Presents a Junior Recital, Zachary Merritt, saxophone, assisted by, Pamela Johnson, piano, Aaron Statler, percussion" (2010). All Performances. 471.