7 years ago


  • Text
  • Percussion
  • Audio
  • Marimba
  • Hatzis
by Christos Hatzis | For Marimba and Digital Audio

promoted Inuit culture

promoted Inuit culture around the globe. His strongest inspiration is his own religious faith, and his religious works have been hailed by critics and audiences alike as contemporary masterpieces. In addition to composing and teaching, Hatzis has written extensively about composition and contemporary music. His writings have been published on Interface, Organized Sound and Harmony, are increasingly translated into other languages and are frequently listed as required reading for music courses in tertiary educational institutions. Two of Hatzis’s works – String Quartet No.1: The Awakening (PE117) and Constantinople – have earned him Juno Awards for Classical Composition of the Year (2006 and 2008, respectively) by a Canadian composer. In 2008 Hatzis also received the Jan Matejcek Concert Music Award, awarded to the most performed and broadcast Canadian composer of the year. In 2010 Hatzis was commissioned by virtuoso violinist Hilary Hahn to write a new work for violin and piano. The resulting work, Coming To (PE119), appears on Hahn’s album In 27 Pieces: The Hilary Hahn Encores, which went on to win the 2015 Grammy Award for Chamber Music / Small Ensemble Performance. A second commission from Hahn soon followed, with Hatzis writing the hyper-virtuosic Dystopia (PE121) for solo violin. In 2013 the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra commissioned Hatzis to score a major new ballet work, Going Home Star: Truth and Reconciliation. Hatzis collaborated with award-winning aboriginal throat singer Tanya Tagaq, Steve Wood and the Northern Cree Singers in creating the score for the groundbreaking production. The ballet’s subject matter is close to the composer’s heart as it confronts the impact of the residential school system on Canada’s aboriginal young people. Bolstered by critical acclaim upon premiering in October of 2014, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet embarked on a cross-Canada tour of Going Home Star in 2016. In reviewing the production, Paula Citron of The Globe and Mail remarked “...the music for Going Home Star may be the best ballet composition ever created in Canada. Hatzis’ score embraces the story like hand to glove. His musical detail evokes each scene perfectly…Hatzis has created a cascade of musical images that bring the characters and the story to life. It is in the score that imagination lives.” Most of Hatzis’ writings and other information about the composer can be found at PE123 – iv

Phosphorus (2015) Phosphorus, for marimba and digital audio, was written soon after the death of Cameron Haynes, the nephew of Hatzis’ wife. After a year-long battle with cancer, Cameron passed away just after his 25th birthday. Throughout his life, Cameron suffered from Asperger’s syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder, requiring extra attention and care from his family and those close to him. Living in a small town and being educated in the public school system, not equipped to deal with children with special needs, he was often the target of bullying. This, along with the behavioural side effects of his condition, made his way though life rather challenging. All this notwithstanding, he remained positive and optimistic and, in the end, his battle with cancer revealed a person of courage, poetic strength and, however hidden and unarticulated, an empathy for others atypical of his condition. Mysterious yet playful, Phosphorus opens with the marimbist playing a series of inquisitive phrases peppered with rolls, while the digital audio provides a steady crotchet pulse of marimba pitches beneath. After arriving at a long pause consisting of eerie electronic ambience, we are eventually introduced to our MC, who informs us that “Today we are talking about the phosphorus.” However, the voice and its underlying electronic beat quickly dissolve and the marimbist’s phrases resume, with rolls now dominating more of the material, while vestiges of the MC’s “phosphorus” chant periodically emerge from the backing track. The voice samples briefly return in solid form, heard alongside the marimba’s wavelike contours. A semiquaver pulse of synthesizer pitches then takes over the accompaniment, the marimba dancing around this rhythmic foundation in animated lines. Our lesson on the phosphorus abruptly resumes, the marimbist instantly falling into unison with the melodic motif in our MC’s underlying beat. The backing track then returns to motoric synthesized pulses, over which the live marimba dances, navigating a pulling back of tempo. Our MC interjects, his processed “phosphorus” chant and motivic hook now overwhelming the piece, while the marimba matches the excitement with upper-register chordal stabs that mutate into clusters. The marimbist is allowed a final, spacious monologue over pitch-shifting ambience before a syncopated percussive groove draws us to the conclusion of our lesson. PE123 – v

Score Library

Percussion Digital Audio Marimba Christos Hatzis