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Flying Colours

Composer: Adam Tan

Instrument: Percussion Duo

Level: Intermediate

Published: 2019

Price: €20.00


Item details

  • Description +
    • Duration: 4 min.

      1. Larger range instruments (e.g. 5.0 octave marimba): Flying Colours is written for a 3.0 octave vibraphone and a 4.3 octave marimba, but larger instruments can be used as well.

      2. Mallet use: Marimba should use a warm graduated set (e.g. soft, medium soft, medium, medium hard). Vibraphone should use an articulate but rounded set of mallets that are not too harsh.

      3. Tempo: Flying Colours should be kept at a constant steady tempo when in sections that have no tempo changes. The dramatic section at bar 82 is the exception to this, which can be dramatically stretched.

      4. Dynamics: Flying Colours should never be too harsh or too soft. The loudest section is at the very end, and the softest section is at letter G.

      5. Pedalling: The vibraphone player should dampen and feather as required for phrasing purposes. They should not hold the pedal down fully for whole passages.

      6. Finally, make sure you and your duo partner have fun with this!

  • Instrumentation +
    • 3.0 octave vibraphone and a 4.3 octave marimba

  • Watch+
    • Performed by Therese Ng and Adam Tan

  • About the composer +
    • Adam Tan is a marimba soloist, educator and composer based in Perth, Western Australia. Adam is most known for being a YouTube content creator on THE STUDIO, a self-produced YouTube show uploading weekly episodes for education and entertainment relating to percussion. 

      Adam has performed and presented in-person in Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan and the United States, and has also presented online classes in Argentina, Central America and the United Kingdom. Highlights include solo performances at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC), inc. percussion days (Japan), PAS Hong Kong Days of Percussion and Oh! Asian Percussionists Series (Hong Kong), Malaysia Percussion Festival, Chosen Vale Percussion Seminar (USA), Australian Percussion Gathering and masterclass presentations at the 505A Percussion Gathering (Hong Kong), MalletLab Summer Intensive (USA), WA Day of Percussion (Australia) and various universities and schools across Taiwan. 

      As a composer, Adam's works for percussion are performed regularly as they appear in repertoire lists for auditions, examinations and competitions around the world, such as the UIL Texas Prescribed Music List (PML). Adam’s works can be listened to on all music streaming platforms and stores. 

      Adam is the founder and director of Marimbafest Australia, a non-profit organisation dedicated to the promotion of percussive arts in Australia, curating various events including the annual marimba festival and competition Marimbafest, as well as the annual concert series Percussion All-Stars

      Adam has a Master of Music (Research, Percussion) and Bachelor of Music (1st Class Hons) from the University of Western Australia Conservatorium of Music. 

      Adam is a Marimba One Premier Artist and a Signature Artist of Encore Mallets with his own signature series of mallets. Adam's compositions are published by Edition Svitzer.

  • Reviews +
    • Review (Percussive Notes, June 2020)

      “Flying Colours” is a short, frenetic burst for keyboard percussion that is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. In his notes to the piece, composer Adam Tan alludes to the work’s roots in “energetic video game and anime theme music, where themes often interchange between colourful solo parts with accompaniment and powerful unison sections.” Despite the brevity of the piece (four minutes), there is indeed a sense of hurtling from one idea to the next in dizzying fashion. As a listener, I found myself visualizing Steve Reich and Gary Burton meeting at a Japanese nightclub; the anime and video-game influences are pervasive, and the harmonic vocabulary strays very little from that genre’s comfortable conservatism, although there are enough funny little blue notes and polyrhythmic slights-of-hand that the piece never quite settles into predictability. All told, the piece is a fun and showy vehicle for accomplished intermediate-advanced keyboard performers, and it is refreshingly unpretentious and honest about its intentions (or lack thereof).

      Were it not for the breakneck speed of the piece, I would think that “Flying Colours” might be approachable by most above-average high school percussionists, but at its official tempo, the work’s demanding litany of cross-ensemble polyrhythms, metrical variation, and accuracy challenges becomes magnified, and I feel that it is better reserved for the college or professional level (although I’m sure there are standout high school students ready to accept the challenge). Each performer gets a chance to take over at times, and preparing this project will require commitment and chemistry from both performers. This lightheartedpiece will certainly be an engaging addition to any undergraduate or public recital.

      —Brian Graiser

  • Credits +
    • Front Cover graphics and layout: Gaia Rodrigues
      Photo: Wilson Ng
      Engraving: Adam Tan & Johan Svitzer
      Printed in Copenhagen, Denmark
      Copyright ©Adam Tan