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By Mark Ford

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Percussion Ensemble 3 Players on One Marimba (1 marimba (low A)) - Level 5
Composed by Mark Ford. Score and set of parts. Duration 7 minutes, 30 seconds. Innovative Percussion #E-MF-STU. Published by Innovative Percussion (IP.E-MF-STU).

Item Number: IP.E-MF-STU

8.5x11 inches.

Composer's notes: For one marimba with three performers. Should be memorized. Players should use medium to medium hard yarn mallets at the beginning. Players 1 and 2 should use a slightly harder mallet after cadenza.

I dedicated Stubernic to Stefan and Mary K. Stuber. I went to college with both of these individuals and we have been friends ever since. In 1988 the Stubers went to Guatemala and Nicaragua for a year for humanitarian aid purposes. When they returned they told me stories of their adventures and the many marimba bands they heard, especially in Guatemala. I was writing a vibraphone/marimba duet at the time. However I decided to make it a trio on one low A marimba in the style of the Latin American marimba bands. Although I did not cite any music from Latin America in Stubernic, I did hope to capture the spirit and energy of their music. The title Stubernic comes from the Stuber's last name with the 'Nic coming from Nicaragua (which is where they spent most of their time that year).

Stubernic (pronounced Stew-bur-nick) is a unique, challenging marimba trio for one 4 1/3-octave marimba shared by three performers. Dedicated to Stefan and Mary K. Stuber--and their music studies in Nicaragua--the title suddenly makes sense: Stuber-Nic (leave it to Ford to personalize a composition to this degree). This single-movement, three-part work should be memorized. Player 2, situated in the center of the instrument, has the most difficult part, in that the four-mallet middle section is a rhapsodic, guitar-like cadenza. Players 1 and 3 (tacet for most of the middle section) are positioned on either end of the marimba's range and provide clever accompaniment to Player 2. At one point, Players 1 and 3 must develop an ostinato on the frame and resonators of the marimba. The composition's first section sounds minimalistic and modal, and there is evidence of Ford's musical humor in that the performers rotate up the marimba_in the fashion of a Central American marimba family playing musical chairs--before returning to their original register. The final section is truly an ensemble tour-de-force in that the parts are virtually all doubled in octaves at the end. There is also evidence of a set of variations on the modal melodic material presented in the first section. Players 1 and 3 utilize two-mallet technique throughout this ten-minute work. Stubernic is a spectacular ensemble for three mature keyboard percussion performers. - Jim Lambert Percussive Notes, December 1995.

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