Composer: Adam Tan
Instrument: Marimba, 4.3 Octave (two mallets)
Duration: 4 min.
"One must die and one must live. No victory, no defeat. The survivor will carry on the fight. It is our destiny..."
- The Boss, from Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (2004)
LEVEL100 is a two mallet solo based on the various stages of a 'boss battle', a segment found in video games where the player must defeat a 'boss' of near unstoppable strength to finish an important level or mission in the game. The stages resemble chapters of a book and are marked throughout the score.
The battle in LEVEL100 seems easy to the player at the beginning ("NEW CHALLENGER"), as they dance around the boss with an aggressive groove in "DANCE OF THE FIGHT", before cheekily re-strategising an alternative plan ("FINDING THEIR WEAKNESS"). The player confidently charges at the boss with a relentless rain of fiery notes ("FULL POWERED ATTACK"), before attempting to end the battle in victory with even flashier runs ("CHAIN OF ULTIMATE FINISHERS").
Unfortunately, the player's shimmering attacks have only resulted in the boss coming back even stronger ("THE ENEMY REAWAKENS"), forcing them to re-strategise in vain ("LAST DITCH EFFORTS") as they begin to lose the battle in dismay ("A FADING HOPE"). The player then discovers a secret style of attack that may turn the tide ("INITIATING A COMEBACK"), before putting all of their energy into one last attack ("ONE LAST DANCE"), with the battle ending in exactly 100 bars.
LEVEL100 was commissioned by Edition Svitzer in April 2023.
Marimba, 4.3 Octave (two mallets)
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.
Front Cover graphics and layout: Adam Tan
Photo: Joey Eng
Printed in Copenhagen, Denmark
Copyright ©Adam Tan