Solo Marimba - Cascading, warm streams of sounds, symphony-like works of acrobatic musicality, large, far reaching compositional energy curves, pulsating dynamics. Julie Spencer creates completely new accents with her always surprising melodic sense.
In the subtlety lies the strength of her sound compositions: fresh, tender, grooving, post minimalistic, inspiring, ecstatic.
Music composed and performed by Julie Spencer.
Julie Spencer plays Kori Marimbas.
Martin Rector, sound engineer
Susanne Schwalbach, photographer
Amienne Monet Spencer-Blume, front cover art painting
Avi Béla Spencer-Blume, back cover art painting
Gernot Blume, producer, sound engineer
„Julie Spencer has developed a virtuosic personal voice on this xylophone-type instrument with wooden bars. Especially striking is her art of dynamic gradation, the rhythmic drive, and the rolls that she sets in one hand against accents in the other.
Stylistically Julie Spencer is hard to classify. She combines jazz and world music with the Western tradition, and incorporates moods of classical Indian music. The suite-like compositions have a meditative character with their ostinato patterns of harmonic variation. Ecstatic Sunlight becomes more and more attractive the more you listen to the music.” Klaus Mümpfer, Allgemeine Zeitung Mainz
About the Pieces
- was commissioned by the Japan Percussion Society in 2004. In addition to the marimba solo version, the piece is also available as a one-movement concerto for marimba and percussion sextet. The textures translate the motion of cascading water into sound.
- Almost 5 AM
- is a marimba solo for two mallets, using techniques of relaxed concentration, hand independence, and horizontal mallet movement. Improvisation is part of this composition that was inspired by the sound of pre-dawn bird songs in Paris.
- Brothers in Peace
- is dedicated to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi. The closing double stops of the left hand echo the gunfire that ended both of their lives, but did not end the hope they gave the world with their commitment to freedom and justice through peace.
- Ecstatic Sunlight on the Mountain Snow
- was commissioned by bluemallet, Tokyo, Japan, 2004. It is movement I of a three movement suite called Ecstatic Sunlight. The music of the suite explores the brilliant and subtle textures of the motion of light. Each movement may also be played independently. Movement I recounts the rapid, prismatic glimmering of blinding white snow crystals in direct sunlight, relieved by brief transitions into the relative stillness of pastel shadow light. In addition to the solo marimba setting, this piece is written as a one-movement concerto for marimba and percussion ensemble, as well as a double concerto for two solo marimbas and percussion ensemble.
- Glowing Horizon at Dawn
- movement II, depicts the slowly effusing layers of color mingling upward in a radiant shimmer of anticipation. This piece is also arranged for marimba quartet.
- Swirling Light in the Mist by the Sea
- movement III, may be played solo, or in unison by two or more players together. Sound swirls float effortlessly up from the marimba like the mist off the waves, in sheets of curling transparent luminescence.
- commissioned by Emil Richards in 1993, is to be played with the Rattle Mallets and Slap Mallets from the Emil Richards signature series produced by Vic Firth, USA. The name of the piece is an anagram of Emil’s name, as well as an expansive oasis in the desert to which God led Moses and his people in their turbulent exodus from slavery.