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Gary Fieldman

Watch the Melting Glaciers duet for marimba and piano

Watch the Melting Glaciers by Gary Fieldman Š 2009 Tapspace Publications LLC (ASCAP), Portland, Oregon. All rights reserved. International copyright secured. Printed in USA. www.tapspace.com

Notice of Liability: Any duplication, adaptation, or arrangement of any text or composition contained herein requires the written consent of the copyright owner. No part of any composition contained herein may be photocopied or reproduced in any way without permission. Unauthorized uses are an infringement of the U.S. Copyright Act and are punishable by law.

TSPCD-09


Program Notes Watch the Melting Glaciers (2007) is an intermediate level composition for marimba (two mallets) and piano that utilizes throughout the four-against-three polyrhythm. Glaciers is also, as the title may suggest, a programmatic composition loosely constructed around the subject of global warming. It is depicted in seven sections with descriptive titles as follows: 1. Ice Splashing into the Sea, 2. Gulf Stills, 3. “An Inconvenient Truth,” 4. Deep Freeze, 5. Competition…Aggression, 6. Reconciliation, and 7. Acceptance, Reflection. Watch the Melting Glaciers was commissioned in 2007 by Rivers Conservatory former piano chair Sharon Schoffmann and was premiered in the 2007 Rivers Conservatory “Contemporary Seminar for the Young.” The performers were upper high school students, marimbist Marina Ramsay and pianist Matthew Aucoin. The seminar rules stipulated that all compositions should include either the element of extended techniques or improvisation. Glaciers utilizes improvisation in Section 3, “An Inconvenient Truth.” The performers had varying degrees of experience with improvisation but were ultimately successful due to the simplicity of the improvisational directions, which asked the performer to emulate related sections of the piece. A number of synchronistic elements came together to inspire the creation of Watch the Melting Glaciers. First was the commission by Sharon Schoffmann, soon followed by the composition of the opening motif and working title “Pass the Melting Butter.” This was followed by a concert series where I was playing in the percussion section of the New Hampshire Symphony Orchestra with Maestro Kenneth Kiesler conducting an all-American program. The music ranged from intelligently garish to poignantly introspective, qualities I associate with my own composition. Around that same time I had a conversation with principal clarinetist and personnel manager Julie Vaverka (1953-2007) on the subject of global changes which proved memorable. Finally, and significantly, while struggling with the form of the composition, I found inspiration for the programmatic content from numerous viewings of the documentary film “An Inconvenient Truth” by environmentalist, former Vice President, and 2000 presidential candidate Al Gore. The first four sections of Glaciers correspond to a scenario described in the film in which an ice age may begin when the salt content of the Gulf is neutralized by fresh water from melting ice caps. Details on this scenario (which has historical precedent in an earlier ice age) can be easily researched if the listener and performer would like to know more.

Performance Notes The marimba part for Watch the Melting Glaciers may be performed on a common 4-octave marimba. Solutions to technical problems in ensemble communication, as well as insights into subtleties of musical shape, surfaced in earlier efforts and will be shared here. Tempo and dynamic markings in Glaciers are in most cases an obvious extension of the composition as it unfolds, and the performer should use them in conjunction with a musical path that is always natural. As a suggestion, to begin a performance, have the tempo defined ahead of time with the downbeat cued by the marimbist. Section 1 - Ice Splashing Into the Sea can be somewhat aggressive in intent. Section 2 - Gulf Stills is more peaceful, marked “a tempo sostenuto.” The “a tempo” here can hold back slightly, not having quite recovered from the momentary lift of the preceding “ritenuto.” Section 3 - “An Inconvenient Truth” is a strict “a tempo” with intensity and rhythmic drive, as in the beginning of the piece. To insure good ensemble communication, after the long piano trill the marimbist may need to watch the piano downbeat. The improvisation sections (measures 77 through 80 for piano and measures 87 through 90 for marimba) can be considered a development of material found throughout the piece. The chord symbol given (D7#11 #9) indicates pitch possibilities. Not all of the notes implied in the symbol need to be used. For ideas, look at the marimba part in measures 5, 13, 28 and 29, 115 through 117, 121 through 124, and 129 through 137. For examples transcribed from a recording and for suggestions on how to approach this section, see Examples for Improvisation included on the next page. Section 4 - Deep Freeze has a quality of evenness and placidity. This section also contains a metric modulation. In measure 95, the four (of the four-against-three polyrhythm) becomes the new quarter. In measures 110 to 115, be careful to play only a very slight accelerando.


Section 5 - Competition…Aggression should be pointed and stately. Keeping track of the meter in measures 117 through 120, and 125 through 128, can be difficult for the marimbist because of the activity in the bass of the piano. If a problem does exist, the pianist may cue the marimba player in measures 119 and 127. Section 6. Reconciliation works toward unison of the parts with specifics in tempo and dynamics near the end. Section 7 - Acceptance, Reflection is calm, long, and sustained. Carefully observe the two “ritenuto” to “a tempo” measures. The last four measures die away to end.

Examples for Improvisation Below are some examples of the 4-bar improvisation sections that occur during section 3. Transcribed from the included recording, these can be a valuable reference to possibilities in note choice and overall musical style. Special thanks to pianist, Maxim Lubarsky for his wonderful performance, and for permitting us to transcribe his improvisations and make them available here. The chord symbol D7#11 #9 is designated throughout. This set of pitch possibilities suggest a “major/minor” tonality, however, as you’ll see from the examples below, not all notes of the chord need to be used. The performer may choose to preconceive this section, either by playing the examples below, or through composition. However, “improvistation,” with all its frightening and exhilarating possibilities, is preferred. Go for it!

Piano (right hand)    1

   2

   3

   

      

 

 4      

 

  

       



 

 

        

  

  







  

    

           

 

 



 

  

    

   

        

 

  

 

Marimba 1

 2

 3



  

 



 

 

 

           

      

   

6

3

            

4

        

3

 

 

  

 

  

  

 

        

        

          

          

           

                 


Level: Medium Approximate playing time: 5’30”

For Matthew Aucoin and Marina Ramsay

Watch the Melting Glaciers

Gary Fieldman

1 - Ice Splashing Into the Sea q = ca. 120

Marimba

        

      

      

 

                  

f

Piano

 

 f

 

 

     

   

    

      





 

poco dim.

poco dim.





           

5

mf

     mf    

  

8

         

  

        

                         f                            

 

 

 



f

 

                                       

  

           

poco dim.

  

  

       

© 2009 Tapspace Publications LLC (ASCAP), Portland, Oregon. All rights reserved. International copyright secured. Printed in USA.

poco dim.

  


2

Watch the Melting Glaciers - Fieldman

                  

13

mf





                     

                               

        mf     16

 

f

         

f



  

     







mf

   

 

                                                            dim.

  

                

   dim.

 

  

  

mf



22

                                                    

TSPCS-15



   

   

  

dim.

   dim.

  

  

 

                   

 

  

    










Watch the Melting Glaciers - Fieldman

                                  

3

28

f

  

       f  

              

 

                 

30



       

                                              ff

  

   



 

 

   

ff

 

 

  

 

 

      

       

     

     

         



                                                

34

mp

dim.

   

 

dim.                    

 

    

mp

 

 TSPCS-15


 

 

Watch the Melting Glaciers - Fieldman

4

                                                                              

40



2 - Gulf Stills





rit.

                                                           A tempo Sostenuto

46

 

   

     

  

 

                                                 

51

   TSPCS-15

 

    

 





                      



 6          

 



 

  

 

   

            



      5






Watch the Melting Glaciers - Fieldman

                              

56

    

  

 

      

     



   



 

 

    







5



   6       

 



 

3 - "An Inconvenient Truth"

                                  A tempo

61

     

cresc.

molto

  

ff



dim.

                

     

ff

    

     

    

dim.

                                                   1.

68

mf

     f    



 

                        



     



 

                                        



     



      TSPCS-15


Watch the Melting Glaciers - Fieldman

6

                                  

           

(play 4 times)

2.

73

mp

                                                                                         

78



                       

Piano improvisation

    

f

 

mf



 

         

                                  D7[åÅ]

D7[åÅ]

          

85

 TSPCS-15

mf

                                         

  

(play 4 times)

 

Marimba Improvisation

D7[åÅ]

 



      



mp

D7[åÅ]

D7[åÅ]

               mf

D7[åÅ]




Watch the Melting Glaciers - Fieldman

4 - Deep Freeze 91

       



  

e. = q (q = ca. 160)

                      

p

                          

 

 p

              

   

    

 

  

   



       

       

 



  

        



105

mf

97

7

        

  

   

           

    TSPCS-15


Watch the Melting Glaciers - Fieldman

8

        

110

       

poco accel.

cresc. poco a poco

   

   

cresc. poco a poco

    

   

               

5 - Competition...Aggression

               

115 q = ca. 170

f

 

mf















   

   

 

 

   (mf)                   ff

120

      TSPCS-15

            

               



 





   

 

 

       

 




Watch the Melting Glaciers - Fieldman

       

 

 



124







                          

9

          

        

ff

 

6 - Reconciliation

                                

129

 







   

   

   

    

133

   



   











 



    

               stringendo

              

 

 

       

                        stringendo



TSPCS-15


Watch the Melting Glaciers - Fieldman

10

                            e = e (q. = ca. 130)

137

cresc. molto

ff

                          cresc. molto ff                            

   

                      rall.

139

     

Sostenuto

e = e (q = ca. 90)



p



p

  

                           dim.

  

   

 

 

dim.

    

7 - Acceptance, Reflection

143

  

  

pp

                    TSPCS-15

   

 

  

 

   

  

  

(4)

    

    



          

    


Watch the Melting Glaciers - Fieldman

149

  

  

 

    





ritenuto



   

 



   

   

ritenuto

(12)

 

   

     

  

 

     

 

 

  





  

      

 

A tempo morendo 157

(8)

A tempo 153

11



       TSPCS-15


www.tapspace.com


Watch the Melting Glaciers