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Warrior from the Deep (by Johathan Kolm)

Price: $40.00

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One vibraphone, three players, six movements, 15 minutes ... I must admit this didn't seem enticing at first; however Jonathan Kolm creates some very nice moments by utilizing various performance techniques.
The composer gives the option to perform with three players on different instruments, which I highly suggest. This makes it much more idiomatic for the performers (especially regarding space), and it gives them all access to a pedal; this will lead to a much more successful performance. All parts may be played with two mallets, but by using three instruments, the performers have the option to use four mallets.
The various techniques involved include striking the resonators and bars with the shaft of the mallet, scraping the bars with triangle beaters, pitch bending, increasing/decreasing motor speed and glissandi. These greatly add to the overall appeal of the work when Kolm creates very nice contrasts in color.
Programmatcially, Kolm borrows imagery from two sources: Samuel Taylor Coleridge's seven-part poem
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Disney's film, Pirates of the Caribbean. The related "storyline" is a bit over the top, but I imagine it works well for younger audiences.
While I do not expect this work to gain mass popularity, I can respect the composer's willingness to think "outside of the box." The selected techniques create wonderful changes in timbre and definitely provide a much-needed contrast for the ear of the listener..
Jason Baker, Percussive Notes -- November 2012

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