Open Spaces are valuable resources, but it is not singularly perceived. Open space can be vast and create a sense of isolation. It can be felt as unending, a necessary but tedious passageway between here and there. Open space can be majestic and beautiful; welcome evidence of an ingenious creator. In this work for solo marimba, I’ve attempted to musically render these three perceptions. The opening and closing passages are intentionally filled with space and may be stretched and manipulated by the performer, uninhibited by any other influence. The sixteenth note passages are representative of long drives through the desert, a reality of virtually any travel from my home in Phoenix to just about anywhere else. While constant and relatively uninterrupted, even in this space there is variation if you keep looking or listening for it. Finally, in the triplet passage, we find beauty; simplistically scored without too much activity but easily the most melodic portion of the solo.
“Open Spaces” is a pleasingly tonal intermediate work for solo four-mallet marimba … an effective short-term project for an advanced high school or undergraduate performer. Bravo to Mr. Gottry for another excellent and educational marimba solo. – Joseph Van Hassel
Printed by permission of the Percussive Arts Society, inc.