Afternoon Footprints was written for solo marimba (5.0) in 2014. One of Stout’s most recent compositions for solo marimba, it is approximately 7’40” in length. It was composed with the thought of watching someone walk around the streets of Paris, going through different neighborhoods and viewing some of the many and varied sites that make up the beautiful city of Paris. Highly suitable for the advanced marimba recital, this work will be appreciated by non marimbists, the general public, as well as marimbists who want a work that concentrates on musical virtuosity.
Composed “with the thought of watching someone walk around the streets of Paris,” “Empreintes dan l’apres midi” is a technically and musically virtuosic work for solo marimba that takes the listener on an emotional journey through the streets of Paris.
At times busy, contemplative, hurried and reflective, “Empreintes…” utilizes changing time signatures, abrupt rhythmic changes and an open, wandering sense of harmony to create its atmosphere. One can hear familiar Stout tonalities here, at times similar to “Sedimental Structures” or “Whatever’s More,” but with more lilt and optimism.
Technically, this piece is suitable for an advanced undergraduate or graduate percussionist. Encompassing the full range of the instrument, it requires a thorough understanding of four-mallet technique, comfort with large intervals in the bottom range of the marimba and a mature sense of time and pacing. Challenges also occur in the ever-changing harmonies, angular melodies and wide wing-span required to physically perform the work.
At just under eight minutes, “Afternoon Footprints” is a wonderful addition to Stout’s long and distinguished catalog of solo marimba literature. It should quickly become a standard on graduate school auditions and solo marimba concerts.
— Justin Alexander, Percussive Notes — March 2017