for solo marimba

Written: 2011
 Instrumentation: solo five-octave marimba (four mallets). A 4 1/3 octave version is also available.
 Commissioned by the ISGM New Music Commissioning Fund for Makoto Nakura.
World Premiere: Makoto Nakura Concert, Park Avenue Methodist Church, New York, NY, USA, November 20, 2011.
 PublisherBill Holab Music
 View ScoreBuy Sheet Music | Buy Audio


The Forest in Winter at Sunset by Theodore Rousseau

The Forest in Winter at Sunset by Theodore Rousseau

While hiking, I am always struck by the beautiful imagery created by shadows on the forest floor. These shadows often make even small trees seem larger than life, while at the same time creating a two-dimensional world out of something entirely three-dimensional. In Forest Shadows, I evoke these images through the use of long tremolos and arpeggiated chords. The piece moves from pastoral sections that evoke nature scenes by nineteenth-century French painters such as Theodore Rousseau (for example, his painting The Forest in Winter at Sunset), to more powerful moments that might be compared to images in works by Romantic landscape painters such as Caspar David Friedrich.

I also draw inspiration from performers. Since Makoto’s only request was that I write him a piece inspired by either the forest or wood, this was easy. Hearing him perform live, I also was captivated by his musicality and sensitivity, and also by the full, robust sound he elicits from his marimba.

Forest Shadows was commissioned by the ISGM New Music Commissioning Fund for Makoto Nakura.

Press Quotes

Robert Paterson was present for the world premiere of a work he wrote for the artist, Forest Shadows... a pleasant piece of impressionism, an atmospheric work, the sort which reflected (perhaps unconsciously) the Guatemalan jungle from which the original marimba was created.
— Harry Rolnick,
Paterson’s Forest Shadows opens with a dappled insistence but soon goes macabre: these woods are haunted!
— LucidCulture
Forest Shadows by Paterson uses sustained chorales to build and resolve tension. Nakura does a wonderful job creating a musical through-line and solid sense of emotional trajectory.
— Jay Batzner, Sequenza21