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[Ben Phelps looks at a crane]

Works > For percussion > Night and Fugue for Marimba (alone)

Night and Fugue for Marimba (alone)

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2008. Premiered by the composer on a concert with the USC Contemporary Music Ensemble. 15 minutes.


I. Nachtmusik
II. Fuga

"I have ... a terrible need ... shall I say the word? ... of religion. Then I go out at night and paint the stars."
    -Vincent van Gogh

Night and Fugue for Marimba (alone) is my first original piece for solo marimba. Composing any solo piece always presents unique challenges and limitations, which is probably why I had avoided doing it for so long. In confronting these challenges, I strove to avoid many of the stereotypes of the solo marimba literature: there are no quasi-minimalist, repeating grooves. Night and Fugue represents a concious effort to expand not just the technical and polyphonic capabilities of the the instrument, but its emotional breadth as well. The piece is- like most of my music- about everything and nothing. It is a reflection on loneliness. It is an exploration of life and musical process. So basically, it's a love song.

Published by Heartland Marimba Festival Publications. Available online.