The Spirit of Life
Composer: Csaba Zoltán Marján
Instrument: Vibraphone and Piano
Duration: 10 min.
This piece was originally composed at the request of the American percussionist David Graham Dickens, who performed it together with all of my compositions at his final Lecture-Recital entitled „The Music of Csaba Zoltán Marján” at Harris Concert Hall at the University of Memphis in April, 2016. The Lecture-Recital, along with his dissertation, was the final project for his Doctor of Musical Arts.
The vibraphone/piano genre has become very popular through Gary Burton and his collaborations with such celebrated musicians as Chick Corea and Makoto Ozone. Despite the fact that these musicians created a huge repertoire for this instrumentation, I feel that notated repertoire for this combination remains under-developed. Although The Spirit of Life contains jazz elements, my intention was not to create a work solely influenced by jazz. The piece contains a host of influences including those of Ravel, Debussy, Mussorgsky, and even Piazzolla.
The structure of the piece is relatively simple. A slow short introduction leads directly to a hectic rhythmic section (owing to the numerous metre changes, the articulation of the musical phrases and accents should be clearly audible). After this fast section the character gradually morphs into a slow meditative atmosphere. Here the vibraphone player has a simple melody to be expressed freely above a gentle pendulum effect in the piano. After a brief transition the material of the initial fast section then returns in a modified form.
Vibraphone and Piano
About the composer +
Csaba Zoltán Marján was born in Nyíregyháza, Hungary in 1983. He started to play the piano at age of 8. In 1998 he was admitted to the Secondary School of Art Nyíregyháza where he began his percussion studies with Csaba Joó. He continued his studies under the guidance of István Szabó at the University of Debrecen Faculty of Music and obtained his Master Degree in Percussion Performance and Teaching in 2007. He played in numerous orchestras such as the Debrecen Symphonic Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, the Helsinki Radio Symphonic Orchestra and the Avanti! Chamber Music Ensemble. He is currently employed by the Budafoki Dohnányi Ernő Symphonic Orchestra (Budapest) and is studying Music Performance/Percussion at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki at the same time.
He won the following prizes: 1st prize in 2005, 3rd prize in 2004, 2nd prize/special award in 2003 at the National University Brass & Percussion Solo Competition in Hungary.
During his university studies Mr. Marján was a member of the SONUS Percussion Ensemble. The main purpose of this group was to perform and to popularize the contemporary music for percussion. This ensemble performed at a number of festivals and concerts in Hungary and abroad as well. At this time Mr. Marján started to be interested in composing and he made several transcriptions for this chamber ensemble. After these transcriptions he has decided to work on his own musical ideas. His first composition was born in 2008 for solo marimba.
For more information please visit the composers website www.csabamarjan.com
Front Cover graphics and layout: Gaia Gomes
Engraving: Csaba Zoltán Marján
Printed in Copenhagen, Denmark
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