The Other Side (of Silence) is a beautiful new composition for 5.0 marimba, dedicated to Colleen Clark and Nagidmy Marquez. At almost eight minutes long, it winds its way through a variety of sections in different styles, moods and textures, but always returns to a place of happiness and joy!
I am always happy to hear of a new work for marimba by Gordon Stout! “The Other Side (of Silence),” a large-scale work, was premiered in April 2017 by Alice (Yun-Ju) Pan at Michigan State University. Clocking in at around eight minutes, “The Other Side” is a joyful, radiant work that will push advanced players’ technical ability as well as their sense of pacing. The piece winds its way through several textures, using the entire range of the instrument and a variety of moods. Many playing techniques are used, although the piece remains mostly linear.
At times simple, “The Other Side” uses the natural resonance of the marimba, employing open chords in a relaxed, spatial texture. At other times, thick, rhythmically complex linear lines are written, sounding rhapsodic and cadenza-like. Stout’s signature sound is here, too, although it seems like he was consciously looking for a joyous harmonic palette for this work.
Suitable for advanced graduated degree recitals, the technical demands of this piece are considerable. In addition, the piece will require a mature musician to accurately navigate the emotional content of the work and sustain the listener’s attention through the piece’s twists and turns.
— Justin Alexander, Percussive Notes — July 2017