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Publication Date

Spring 4-25-2015

Year of Release



Charles Powell, percussion

Marshall University Percussion Ensemble

African Drum and Dance Ensemble

Program notes

Originally a classical and jazz pianist, composer and performer Arthur Lipner has cultivated a vast knowledge of musical styles through his extensive travels, which include 15 trips to Brazil. Focusing primarily on jazz and Latin American genres, he has emerged as one of today's leading vibraphone and marimba voices. Released as a marimba solo in 2003, "Lime Juice" was later adapted into a percussion ensemble arrangement in order to thicken the soca groove. Soca music (also known as the soul of calypso) is a genre of Caribbean music that originated in the late 1970s as an offshoot of calypso that includes influences from funk and soul. In his notes for the piece, Arthur Lipner recommends the addition of as many rhythm instruments as desired, so long as they compliment the groove, as well as body movement to further enhance the soca feel.

Dave Hollinden is not only a well-respected percussionist, but a composer whose works are widely performed by percussion ensembles and soloists worldwide. Structurally, Hollinden's music is written to create momentum by switching frequently between a variety of meters and timbres, often including unusual directions for the player such as "restless," "animated-excited," "frantic," "impassioned," and "obsessively". "Cold Pressed", first premiered in 1990, is a multi-percussion work which is set up as a modified drum set with timbrak notation, meaning each instrument is assigned a pitch and arranged like a chromatic keyboard setup. According to Hollinden, the term "Cold Pressed" refers to the method of extracting olive oil which results in the most robust and full-bodied flavor. Syncopation, contrasting timbres and rock-influenced style are blended together in music which is vivid, spicy and obsessively persistent.

Respected percussion performer and composer David Carey composed "Suite for Solo Vibraphone" in 1981. The piece is divided into three separate movements, the first two of which will be performed today: "Prelude" and ". In musical terminology, "prelude" originally referred to a short, independent, and improvisatory composition for a keyboard instrument. Carey employs compositional techniques which reflect the ideas of free improvisation, including "wipes" across the white keys of the vibraphone with rubato right hand melodic material. His near omission of pedaling and specific tempo markings suggests a liberal blending of tones to create a more unique soundscape for the piece. Sarabande'', a piece of music based on the triple-metered rhythms of the slow Spanish dance of the same name, demonstrates a likewise regard for the blending of tones to create deeply layered chords within a measure.

"Eight Pieces for Four Timpani" is a collection of short pieces by Elliott Carter for solo timpani - four drums played by one musician. Six of the pieces were composed in 1949. Two new pieces were added in 1966, at which time the rest were revised in collaboration with percussionist Jan Williams. Carter, also a studied mathematician, wrote the pieces as studies in the controlled, interrelated changes of speed now called "metric modulation". He also composed this collection as an experiment in four-note chords, which he controls using carefully dictated muting directions and a variety of extended techniques throughout the music. "Recitative", the fourth of these pieces, is named and modeled after a vocal style commonly used in operas and oratorios that is meant to imitate the natural inflections of speech. The fifth piece, "Improvisation", is written in a style that reflects its name. To "improvise" means to compose and perform or deliver without previous preparation. Carter considered these works a collection rather than a suite, and suggested that no more than four be performed at a single event.

With over fifty publications for concert band, percussion ensemble, commissions, Nathan Daughtrey has become increasingly popular as a performer, composer, and clinician. "Halcyon Days" (HAL-see-uhn) is written for a four-mallet marimba soloist with a supporting quartet utilizing a wide variety of percussion instruments and techniques to create a complex soundscape immersing the listener in an equally complicated tale. The phrase "Halcyon Days" refers to a period of peace and tranquility. Nathan Daughtrey writes: "According to Ovid's Metamorphoses, Alcyone was the daughter of Aeolus, King of the Winds, and the wife of Ceyx. Though they were deep in love, Ceyx decided he must journey across the sea to consult the oracle of Apollo at Delphi, but, knowing the danger of such a journey, Alcyone begged him not to go. Ceyx left anyway and died tragically in a shipwreck. The gods came to Alcyone in a dream and told her of her husband's death. Stricken with grief, she jumped into the sea, but the Gods took pity on her and before she could be overcome by the waves, she was transformed into a kingfisher (also called a halcyon). Ceyx was changed into a bird as well and their love was blessed for all time. Their tragic love story has given us the very word that means calm, contentment and happiness."

"Tokoe" is a puberty dance of the GaDangme, a people residing in southern Ghana along the banks of the Volta River. 'Puberty rites known as "dipo" are the communal forum in which the GaDangme females acquire the knowledge of the social responsibilities that go hand in hand with their transition into sexual reproduction capabilities and overall biological maturity. Candidates of "dipo" are very carefully selected, as it is a great honor as well as a strictly monitored process. Highly respected female members of the community carefully oversee this process, pouring out their experience, knowledge, self-esteem, and self-confidence to the chosen youth. "Tokoe" is the drumming and dance combination performed at the beginning of the "dipo" ceremonies. As is common in African rhythms, the beat often seems oddly placed to those who have grown up studying and listening to Western music. It is also important to note that, though there is a master drummer on the atsimevu to dictate the transitions of the dance, this music revolves around the constant pattern played on the bell, or gankogui.


Smith Recital Hall


Arts and Humanities | Fine Arts | Music | Music Performance

Marshall University Music Department Presents a Graduate Recital, Charles Powell, Percussion, with, Marshall University Percussion Ensemble, African Drum and Dance Ensemble