Joe Mikelait


Percussion Studios

ABSTRACT: Velocities is a solo marimba piece written by Joseph Schwantner. It will be me playing a four mallet solo for marimba, expressing the thoughts and emotions Schwantner wrote. It has a variety of different musical themes that are repeated several times a half step higher or lower, giving a sense of tense resolution. In the beginning the surprising loud seventh chords build tension. The following quieter, more melodic segments try and resolve the sevenths, which come back again shortly after these melodies. The piece goes through several transition sections, in which a new theme is introduced and toyed around with. They go through three transitions, and then resolve to the main melody once again but in a minor, more dramatic emotional tome. This wears away into a calming pianissimo which is instantly contrasted with a fast fortissimo section full of sevenths and tension, all of which resolves in the last set of chords. To prepare this piece I have spent at least an hour a day practicing and working on it for the last few months. I have delicately examined every section and the ideas portrayed in all of them.