Percussion Works

Material Rhythms (2010)

A percussion quartet in four movements. The first three movements use a different material of indefinite pitch: I. Wood, II. Metal, III. Skin. And, in movement IV. Mix, a combination of all three.

Instrumentation: Four percussionists (13:30)
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Amores Montuños (2008)

Commissioned by Patricia and Greg Zuber. Premiered at the Malletech Leigh Howard Stevens Summer Marimba Seminar. The excerpt here is live from the New York Chamber Music Festival, September 12, 2010 at Symphony Space, NYC.

This work is also available at Steve Weiss Music.

Instrumentation: flute and marimba (10:00)
First Performance: Ashbury, NJ, Trinity Church, June 15, 2010
Patricia Zuber, flute and Greg Zuber, Marimba
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Marimba Montuño (2002)

Dedicated to multi-percussionist Joseph Gramley, who has performed this work frequently in concert and at master classes throughout the US. Recorded on Joseph Gramley's CD Global Percussion.

It challenges the performer with 4-mallet technique combined with contrapuntal montuño rhythmic figures. The following liner notes by Thomas Mallon from Joseph Gramley's CD Global Percussion:

Marimba Montuño owes its harmony to the Fibonacci series and its pulse to Afro-Cuban rhythms, particularly the montuño, a motif that's repeated continually in the same pitch and voice. "I compose in small sections or chunks and then organize the sound into a fixed order," says Susman. The end result is rhythmically supercharged—a test of dexterity and speed for the marimbist.

Gramley's unflagging ability to play the rhythms simultaneously in both hands—a relatively new feature of 4-mallet marimba technique and composition—led Susman to dedicate the finished Marimba Montuño to the performer. But even before that Gramley had made the work his own. "I usually know within the first page if something I want is a keeper. Marimba Montuño is that kind of piece."

This work is also available at Steve Weiss Music.

Instrumentation: marimba (9:00)
First Performance: Nardin Park United Methodist Church, Farmington Hills, MI
Joseph Gramley, marimba
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Three Different Keyboards (2001)

Accordion, marimba, and piano all use keyboards but their sound and the way in which they are produced are vastly different. Watch the performance on YouTube.

This work is also available at Steve Weiss Music.

Instrumentation: accordion, marimba and piano (7:30)
First Performance: The Green Mill, Chicago, April, 2009
Presented by Accessible Contemporary Music: Stas Venglevski, Bayan Accordion; Matt Peters, marimba; Amy Wurtz, piano
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Exposé (1989)

The first performance used 2 xylophones in place of the violins creating a mallet percussion ensemble piece with piano.

This work is also available at Steve Weiss Music.

Instrumentation: 2 violins, 2 marimbas, piano (9:00)
First Performance: San Jose State University, 1990
Anthony Cirone, cond.
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Floating Falling (1987)

Commissioned by André Emelianoff

This work is also available at Steve Weiss Music.

Instrumentation: cello and timpani (8:00)
First Performance: New York, Merkin Concert Hall, 1987
André Emelianoff, cello and Jonathan Haas, timpani
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