Binary Hearts

for solo marimba


Written: 2016
Duration: 5'
Instrumentation: solo five-octave marimba (four mallets).
Commissioned by Micheal Barnes
World Premiere: National Conference on Percussion Pedagogy Concert, University of Arkansas: Faulkner Performing Arts Center, Fayetteville, AR, May 22, 2017.
PublisherBill Holab Music

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Couples who are in love often share the same interests, finish each other sentences, and laugh at the same jokes. In fact, Scientists at the University of California, Davis discovered that a couple’s breathing patterns and heart rates match up if they sit close to each other or look into each other’s eyes. They don’t even have to hold hands or talk for this to happen. However, a similar effect apparently does not occur among strangers, only couples in love. Coupled with this idea, I have always been fascinated by binary stars, which are two stars that rotate together, on the same axis. Binary Hearts for solo marimba is inspired by these phenomena. In this piece, I use heartbeat-like motives and ostinati, fast moto-perpetuo rhythmic sections and choral-like episodes, creating a joyous, gently shifting tapestry that is meant to reflect how two people feel when they are in love. Binary Hearts was commissioned by Micheal Barnes in honor of his marriage to Carly Prince.