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Impressions of Giza (by Christopher Swist)

Price: $12.00

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Specs
Musical FeaturesThe piece contains 6 movements (Sands I, Menkaure, Khafre, the Sphinx, Khufu, Sands II, and The Nile) each somewhat contrasting in style. Sands I is characterized by phrases of 16th notes that grow dynamically as they expand outward in range, typically from E-natural and E-flat. Menkaure contains pointillist statements of chords, fragments of melodies, and quicker gestures that speed up and slow down. Khafre expands on the ideas presented in Menkaure, this time in longer phrases that explore the full range of the instrument. The Sphinx is one of only two movements of the piece containing bar lines, alternating between 2/4, 3/16, and 6/16. Embedded in the movement is a section that may be extended, before returning to the cyclical motion of the beginning of the movement. Khufu contains many long, linear passages in which the rhythm may be freely manipulated and embellished by the performer. In Sands II, we see constant 16th note motion in measures that may be repeated as many times as the performer chooses. Tonally, the melody moves around tri-tones and sevenths. The Nile is a slow-moving chorale in a quartal/quintal modality. The movement contains no bar lines, and may choose the duration of many of the phrases, giving the movement a patient pace. The piece, overall, favors the freedom and discretion of the performer, with respect to timing, rhythm, and pacing, over the specific request of the composer.
Technical FeaturesThe piece contains a few challenging technical requirements, including ghost notes, in the Sphinx, and many independent rolls, featured significantly in the Nile.
DurationApprox. 13 minutes
InstrumentationMarimba 4.5 Octave (low E) - 4 Mallets
Level SuggestionHigh School, College/Professional