marimba duo (two players, two 5-octave marimbas)
Winters are very long in the Midwest. From November through March or even the first few weeks of April, the landscape is painted in browns and grays as the bare limbs of trees meet skies thick with clouds. Crisp white snow turns to dirty slush as it mixes with sand and hardens to mounds of solid ice on the sides of walkways. Then, quite suddenly, the sun emerges, temperatures rise, ice melts, plants send young shoots up through the tender earth, and trees explode with bright green leaves and colorful blossoms.
Thaw captures this time of transition. Shimmering tremolo chords and an ascending C major scale represent the warmth of the sun’s rays kissing the earth. Surging descending and ascending lines express rivulets of melting ice feeding streams and rivers. An energetic, asymmetrical dance builds, rejoicing in the arrival of spring and the abundance of life.
This work was created under the aegis of the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music and will be premiered by Chris Froh and Mayumi Hama at the Sacramento State University Festival of New American Works in November 2017.