Marimba from 0 to 8 mallets
The album 'Jane Boxall ~ Marimba from 0 to 8 Mallets' will include at least one piece with 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 mallets respectively. Proposed track listing:
- 0: 'Sambai' by Jane Boxall
- 1: 'Fruit Loops' by Jane Boxall
- 2: 'The Black Page' by Frank Zappa*
- 3: 'Sonata for Xylophone' by Thomas Pitfield
- 4: 'One Study One Summary' by John Psathas
- 5: 'Indigo Spanish Fantasy' by Charles Joseph Smith*
- 6: New Work (commission) by Lucas Guinot
- 7: 'The Cutter' (piano rag transcription) by Alma Ney McClure
- 8: 'Marimba Moods II' by Ludwig Albert
[* -- pending licensing agreement, may be substituted with another piece]
In Spring 2009 I played -- literally single-handedly -- in Piano By Nature’s 0 to 8-hand piano concert. This fascinating program of music, curated by Rose Chancler Feinbloom in upstate New York, featured music for a single piano played by up to eight performers simultaneously. The program included music from several centuries, featuring new compositions by David Liptak (7 hands) and Marc Mellits (4 hands). At the time I was working on my six-mallet marimba technique, and the piano concert sparked the idea of performing a program of solo marimba music using 0 to 8 mallets. Since then, I have performed the 0-8 mallet program as a concert and clinic in Missouri, Illinois, Washington, Vermont, New York and Minnesota.
I use Burton grip on marimba for its sturdiness, natural feel, and the correlation with the matched percussion grip I use on everything from multiple percussion to drumkit. However, I have also taught students using traditional or Stevens grips. My six-mallet grip adds a third mallet to each hand, on the outside of the thumb. After some experimentation with manipulating four mallets in each hand, I settled on a grip which has two mallets in a traditional grip between fingers 3/4 and 4/5; the other two mallets are held in Burton grip between the thumb and index finger and outside the thumb. This mixed grip allows me to have the greatest control over the levels of the mallet heads relative to the keyboard.
To the best of my knowledge, there is currently only one published piece for 8-mallet marimba – ‘Marimba Moods’ by Belgian marimbist Ludwig Albert. The most difficult repertoire to source for this program was for 0, 1, 5 or 7 mallets. I commissioned a 5-mallet piece in 2009 from composer Charles Joseph Smith, and also look to piano repertoire for pieces I can play with 5 or 7 mallets. With one mallet, it is possible to play certain Sarabandes from Bach’s cello suites, or certain rags by George Hamilton Green. Additionally, working with a single mallet and looping technology is an interesting option for exploration. Through research, discovery, composition, transcription and commissioning activities, I hope to expand the available repertoire for 0 to 8-mallet solo marimba.
A breakdown of the album production budget is as follows:
- Recording and mastering costs: $700
- CD and vinyl duplication: $1800
- Photography: $150
- Commissioning of 6-mallet piece: $500
- Legal services (licensing contracts, etc): $450
- Licensing fees and costs (eg, mailing complimentary albums): $400
- Digital distribution costs: $100
- Cost of creating miscellaneous reward merchandise (T-shirts, buttons, etc): $350
- Cost of mailing rewards: $300
- Kickstarter fee: $250
- total: $5000
Marimba artist Jane Boxall is "in a genre of one," according to Burlington-VT magazine SevenDays. Jane plays contemporary-classical marimba repertoire with 0 to 8 mallets. In the jazz realm, Jane recreates the ragtime sounds of the 1920s on a vintage instrument. Chamber-music collaborations range from Ricochet Duo's fresh piano-marimba repertoire to Snap-Drag’s double-drumkit experimentation.
Jane has performed in concert halls, art galleries, cafes, kindergartens, universities and festivals from London to Chicago, and Manhattan to Seattle. She has appeared with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, Guildhall Symphony Orchestra, Prairie Ensemble and the Vermont Contemporary Music Ensemble. Jane’s music has received radio airplay across the United States, on the BBC and on the Dutch radio stations Concertzender and Radio Mona Lisa. Her recordings of Nancy Van de Vate’s marimba compositions are released on the Naxos label. Jane has shared concerts and bills with Bradford Reed, Sheesham&Lotus, Vernon Reid, The Life and Times, Rough Francis, Les de Merle and Danny Seraphine. Audience members have compared Jane to Cozy Powell, Evelyn Glennie, Zappa marimbist Ruth Underwood, Sheila E., Carl Palmer and (when wielding 8 mallets) an octopus.
‘Marimba virtuoso Jane Boxall delighted a capacity audience’ CCANW.co.uk
‘A quintessentially natural performer. . . Incredible presence. Her body sings with movement and pure joy. She bowled [us] over with her musicality and her extramusical capacity to communicate.’ News-Gazette, Champaign IL
John Psathas (New Zealand): johnpsathas.com
Ludwig Albert (Belgium): ludwigalbert.com
Lucas Guinot (Argentina): myspace.com/lucasguinotangoforimport
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