Personal Name

Marshall University



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Publication Date

Spring 4-27-2009

Year of Release



Dave Schoening, piano

Adam Stephenson, narrator

Jason Mitchell, soprano saxophone

Sara Vorac, alto saxophone

David Hamilton, tenor saxophone

Zack Merritt, baritone saxophone

Clark Littlepage, Danny Holderby, Amy Holliday, Clark Littlepage, Neal Titus, marimba

Mike Cochran, vibraphone

Allie Hughes, Emilea Burgh, Hannah Bird, Tim Cline,

Rebecca Adkins, Kathryn Greer, bass clarinet

Program Notes:


This piece is intended to be a humorous comment on some of the attitudes toward new music. After expressing dislike for the start of the piece, the alto saxophone is met with increasingly difficult music. Through these difficult passages (and the condescending attitude of the narrator), the composer gets his revenge for being spoken of so poorly.


'Mix and Enjoy!' consists of 33 small fragments which the performer - depending on some rules - puts in order and play. Those fragments are grouped in three. Group 'a' includes rubato rhythm and dynamic variety, group 'b' has variations of a constant rhythmical structure with a middle range dynamic, and group 'c' has forte attacks on a couple variations of a chord. The idea of the title came to me in a school break when I had to eat microwave food all the time, therefore had the chance to explore what's on as microwave food for a vegetarian in the supermarket. The presentation of that one product, Chinese 'Udon Soup' attracted me. In a different way. This traditional soup with noodles was packaged in the same way as all microwave products are packaged and had those words on it: 'mix and enjoy with your sticks!". I associated these words "mix and enjoy with your sticks!" with conventional ways of consuming traditional food, not this product presented to the world in a plastic bowl, as tasteless as all other micro-wave food. I was amazed by the contradiction that this soup was still advertised in a way suggesting a so traditional way of consuming. My marimba piece had been all over my table at the time and I was mixing the order of its fragments and imagining how the player will enjoy the music with his/her mallets (sticks). So, from such a connotation the piece got its name.


The inspiration for this piece came from the symmetrical shape of

The iris flower. I decided to create a piece that had a large scale palindromic form. Palindromic in the sense that you can play the piece backwards and It will sound the same as if it is being played forwards. The middle section of the piece is built upon a descending fifth line that is first introduced in the bass clarinets a few minutes into the composition. This piece also utilizes musical spatialization. I used this idea to create a sense that the sound is coming from all directions around the listener. Lines feel as though they float from one area of the listener's ears to the other.


This piece is divided into three sections. The first section contains images which cannot be clearly defined and is the longest lasting section. The second section is half the length of the first. The piece moves more rapidly and functions by connecting the first and third sections through contrasting photographs with similar objects. The third section is half the length of the second, and has the most rapid changes and contrasting images. By the start of the last section, the images are clearly defined.

The images function as the foreground element in this work, allowing the music to move in textures which rise in different layers of intensity throughout the piece. Often one will hear a texture of small intensity immediately followed by one of great intensity. In some ways, the music and the photographs have switched roles. The textures often gives aural snapshots of an environment while the photographs provide a 'melodic' function.


This work was composed using a numeric ratio, which was developed intuitively, to govern its events. The proportions from the ratio were applied to the piece globally to measure its eight sections, and within each section to arrange its activity. The ratio is effective in creating a satisfying rate of change in the work, as well as by connecting the piece with a common process. The vibraphone and marimbas interact in different ways throughout the composition - at times the vibraphone serves to highlight the motion in the marimbas, in other instances the marimbas accompany the movement in the vibraphone, or, the two timbres are used collectively with equal importance. The title of the work is derived from the shifting patterns, textures and events in the piece, akin to different shades of color, but all related by a connecting melodic, harmonic or rhythmic element, analogous to the consistent parent hue.


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