Caméléon (Eric Sammut)
Eric Sammut was the winner of the 1995 LHS marimba competition. In the last "free repertoire" round of the competition Eric won the hearts of the audience with his Rotations. These are now among the most often performed works for marimba. Caméléon is a longer, more ambitious work, with more serious harmonic and melodic content, but it still has Eric's hints of jazz overtones.
|Musical Features||Structure: A B A coda |
A section: The meter is flexible, going from 4/2 to 11/8 to 10/8, etc., and is ultimately determined by the melody, and often sounds as if no bar lines were written at all. The tonality is fluid and transforms frequently to seemingly unrelated keys. Though it is unfair to state that the piece exists in one particular key, it always sounds tonal, even if the tonality shifts every few bars.
B section: Rhythmically, this section is more groove-oriented, and tonally, more stable than the A section. The tonality does shift, often between Ab major, F# minor, and A minor.
|Technical Features||The piece opens with a technical demand of independence that is often characteristic of Sammut’s music, in which the hands work in a sort of counterpoint, both rhythmically and melodically. I find this writing at first difficult to learn, but smooth and particularly idiomatic, once mastered. The B section is technically demanding, with many multi-lateral strokes and quickly executed large-to-small (and vice versa) interval shifts. In the coda, independent rolls are required over a moving, rhythmic line in the left hand.|
|Duration||Approx. 6 minutes|
|Instrumentation||Marimba 5.0 Octave - 4 Mallets|