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Sunflower

Composer: Adam Tan

Instrument: Marimba

Level: Intermediate

Published: 2021

Price: €14.00


Item details

  • Description +
    • Duration: 5 min.

      Sunflower
      echoes the imagery and floral nature of my previous work Lotus, giving the performer an opportunity to express colours and shades on the marimba in a neo-Romantic manner. The sunflower is a bright yellow flower that is often seen in warmer weatheramongst green grass, but can also be grown in harsh winter environments while still retaining its signature warm appearance.

      As a representation of strength, positivity and happiness, Sunflower's main theme ('the Sunflower theme') blossoms and builds up to a tremendous climax with powerful triplet chords, before its petals are broken down into a miniature, bare version of the original Sunflower theme. Sunflower finishes with a trickling run of diads, followed by a single high B - the sunflower's petals falling to the ground and wilting away, so a new one can grow in its place.

      Therefore, Sunflower is a reflection of being warm, bright and radiant, even in the toughest and coldest times. Every time I perform this, it reminds me to be grateful for everyone and everything I have around me.

      Adam Tan

  • Instrumentation +
    • Marimba (4.3 octave)

  • Watch+
    • Performed by 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 2022)

      Adam Tan’s new solo is written in a neo-romantic style with a simple melody placed over a left-hand ostinato. The melody, while simple in nature, offers opportunity for performers to be expressive in their interpretation. The left hand will need to be adept at moving around the keyboard in an arpeggiated fashion while remaining under the main theme of the work.

      This piece is meant to represent the sunflower’s ability to grow tall and face the sun even in harsh conditions. Tan achieves this through the use of 2-over-3 polyrhythms in some sections representing the harshness, while over this, the same melody soars above like the tall sunflower. The piece ends by moving up the keyboard and fading out, representing the falling petals of the flower and the hope for a new one to grow.

      This would be an excellent choice for a younger college or advanced high school student. It would offer them the chance to explore the musicality and the range of the marimba. While not the most technically demanding, the polyrhythms and a few faster scalar runs would challenge students and force them to think musically. Adam Tan has composed a great work for younger percussionists that is sure to challenge them in multiple ways, and please the audience at the same time.

      —Josh Armstrong

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