for solo marimba (six-mallet)
Duration: ca. 5'
Instrumentation: 5 octave marimba (played with six mallets)
Premiere: Composers Concordance, Renee Weiler Concert Hall, Greenwich House Music School, New York, NY, USA, May 2, 2008.
Publisher: Bill Holab Music
After writing Komodo, a piece that shows off the low end of the marimba, I decided to write a piece that focuses on the top end for good measure. Ghoulish creatures fascinate me, and piranhas provide the perfect inspiration. Like Komodo dragons, piranhas are vicious, but their reputation is somewhat exaggerated. Perhaps this piece is a Romanticized take on these fascinating creatures. Piranha begins with a rippled, fluid-like introduction, as if they are rising and falling and poking through the water’s surface. (This section pays tribute to composer Jacob Druckman and his masterpiece for solo marimba, Reflections on the Nature of Water.) The next section is a gradual crescendo, a build-up of tension as hungry piranhas stalk and nip at an unfortunate animal as it wades into deeper water. The animal is then attacked, reflected by the low end of the marimba and “marimshot” cluster chords. Satiated, they gradually calm down in the last section via a gradual diminuendo and the piece ends quietly with soft ripples and chords played with mallet shafts.