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Crawl, Walk, Run (by Eric Sammut)

Price: $58.00

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Written for the Lien Percussion Group, Eric Sammut offers a unique twist to his compositional approach. Compared to his other chamber works published by Keyboard Percussion Publications, this sextet uses a rather large instrumentation by Sammut's standards. Utilizing techniques that we associate with his style, such as virtuosity and groove, this piece is a sure bet to delight audiences and performers alike.
Opening with a constant alternation of 7/8 and 4/4, a hi-hat ostinato maintains the pulse while syncopated motives are added to the texture. The resulting composite groove serves as an accompaniment to the melody presented by the marimba and vibraphone. Also sycopated in its own right, the melody occurs within a small range and is sometimes doubled at the octave. This first section requires three performers using four-mallet technique. While most of it could be played with two mallets, there is not enough time to pick up mallets in order to execute future block chords. As a result, some rapid runs need to be played with single, independent strokes.
The sixteenth-note groove eventually gives way to a triplet-based section in 4/4. The arpeggios in the low register of the marimba create a "walking" feel, while the longer notes in the chimes and vibraphone help create a leisurely landscape. An improvisatory vibraphone melody uses single independent strokes and eventually incorporates double vertical strokes at the interval of an octave. A dense overlapping of "running" sixteenth notes builds into a variation on the original theme.
Although there is motivic repetition throughout, the amount of material in this 286-measure composition will continually challenge the performers. Strong subdivision skills are essential to achieve the intended feel of each section. Sammut's blend of style, clear melodic ideas and improvisational elements will appear to the differing musical tastes of most audience members. As with Sammut's other works, it is only a matter of time before this becomes a favorite on college campuses.
Darin Olson, Percussive Notes -- November 2012

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