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Dark Shadows

Composer: Daniel Berg

Instrument: Flute and Marimba

Level: Intermediate/Advanced

Published: 2020

Price: €25.00

Item details

  • Description +
    • Duration: 6 min.
      Performing Artists: Georgiana Hughes, flute and David Westerbrand, marimba

      For many years, the successful Duo Nimm (flautist Åsa Karlberg and percussionist Olle Pettersson) have performed my work Kinkaku-ji, a meditation for Flauto Alto and Vibraphone. One day, Åsa told me about her new Robert Dick Glissando Headjoint and at the same time asked if I could possibly write a new piece for flute and percussion with her new mouthpiece in mind. In contrast to the calm Kinkaku-ji, I began to compose a work with a lot of speed.  

      At this time, I was in a state of darkness where people in my presence showed a shadow of hatred and evil I didn't think existed. The power of the music is incredibly strong and through the composition I was able to somehow react and express my feelings. The harmonies are therefore dark, the rhythms give a feeling of worry and the flute's glissando amplifies the inner pain - an attempt to musically describe the Dark Shadows.

  • Instrumentation +
    • Flute and Marimba

  • Watch+
    • Dark Shadow by Daniel Berg

      Dark Shadow by Daniel Berg

  • About the composer +
    • Daniel Berg is a Swedish composer, musician and professor in classical percussion. He combines the role of writing music with being a versatile musician and teaches solo percussion and chamber music at the University College of Music in Gothenburg, Stockholm and Örebro in Sweden. 

      In his passion to promote the marimba as a solo- and chamber music instrument, Daniel has worked intimately with a number of composers who have written original music for the instrument. This includes more than 250 world premieres for solo and chamber works. Daniel Berg is an artist of Bergerault Marimbas and Elite Mallets. 

      As a composer Daniel has written a lot for percussion published by Edition Svitzer like his Kroumata for percussion sextet, Images for Percussion Duo and Yán Jiāng (Magma) for solo marimba - a commission from the Taiwan World Percussion Competition 2020.

  • Reviews +
    • Review (Percussive Notes, October 2021)
      In this duet for alto flute and 5-octave marimba, the outer sections are characterized by the moto perpetuo style presented by an arpeggiated harmonic pattern in the marimba, on top of which the flute performs enticing melodic lines. The opening section affords the marimbist an opportunity to perform melodically, as the flute takes on the accompaniment role at points. While the marimba and flute parts are rhythmically active and advanced, they are, for the most part, idiomatic. The middle section is spacious and free, with each performer presenting musical material alone, and then together in a less frantic manner than the opening section. The final section is essentially a recapitulation of the opening section, with a coda-like closing section.

      Harmonically, the work is fairly dark, utilizing chromaticism throughout. An appropriate description might be “pan-hexatonic,” where the composer is using hexatonic tonal collections while not being bound by any specific set. Daniel Berg’s harmonic choices work quite well for the acoustics of the marimba.
      Lasting around 5½ minutes, “Dark Shadows” is appropriate for advanced collegiate musicians, and would serve well as a flashy opener or as an encore.
      —Jamie Wind Whitmarsh
  • Credits +
    • Enamel painting (front cover): Bengt Berglund
      Front Cover: Ronni Kot Wenzell
      Photo (Daniel Berg): Jon Liinason
      Translation (English): Robert Oetomo
      Printed in Copenhagen, Denmark
      Copyright © Edition SVITZER