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Anders Åstrand

General Info

Year: 2011
Duration: 00:06:00
Difficulty: Advanced
Publisher: Edition Svitzer
Cost: Score and Parts - $35.99   |   Score Only - $0.00


Player 1: Crotales 1
Player 2: Crotales 2
Player 3: Chimes
Player 4: Glockenspiel
Player 5: Xylophone
Player 6: Marimba 1 & flat ride cymbal
Player 7: Marimba 2 & dark ride cymbal
Player 8: Marimba 3
Player 9: Vibraphone

Program Notes

Metal by Anders Astrand opens with an ostinato pattern being played by the crotales and xylophone which is carried by the crotales for the remainder of the piece. Titled to appropriately categorize the majority of this work's instrumentation, Anders Astrand plays with the layering and color of these instruments and at a few key movements creates a sudden change that is slightly shocking to an audience. This ensemble work is built primarily off of the use of ostinato patterns, which makes it a bit challenging but not out of reach for a good undergraduate percussion ensemble looking for pieces for an upcoming concert!


Percussive Notes, May, 2012

Commissioned by Brett Dietz and the Louisiana State University Percussion Ensemble, “Metal” is a challenging combination of wood and metal melodic percussion in an energetic new work for nine players. Each performer is responsible for one keyboard percussion instrument, while two marimba players are also instructed to maintain continuous eighth notes throughout the work on a flat or dark ride cymbal.

The piece opens with a composite melodic and rhythmic figure in the crotales and xylophone over a soft cluster chord in the other keyboard voices. Both crotale parts continue without interruption throughout the work with only slight variation in pitches and no variation in rhythm from the first fourmeasure statement. The third marimba and vibraphone (both parts requiring four mallets) soon take over the bulk of the melodic material, but the piece frequently alternates between these rapid and engaging melodic lines and full ensemble ostinato figures that often disguise the unchanging common-time meter.

In addition to these shifts between melodic statements and ensemble ostinati, the texture varies suddenly in a number of places as the majority of the keyboard parts regularly drop out leaving only the continuous ride cymbal eighth notes and composite crotale figure for two- or four-measure segments. All keyboard parts are highly chromatic and include various sixteenth-note rhythmic figures as well as frequent unison ensemble quintuplets. Even the glockenspiel and tubular bell parts include these rapidly moving sixteenth-note and quintuplet lines in several instances.

The xylophone part is more rhythmic and sparse (similar to the crotale voices) and requires only two mallets. All of the marimba parts require four-mallet technique, although the top two marimba parts uniquely require two mallets in the left hand playing marimba while simultaneously playing the ride cymbal with the right hand. Neither of these two parts will prove particularly difficult to manage in terms of coordination, as each is written with this split-hand technique well considered.

The instrumentation and rhythmic elements of this work are most appropriate for college level ensembles, but since a large portion of the piece consists of repeated ostinato, it is very accessible for solid undergraduate players. “Metal” is a fantastic piece for keyboard percussion ensemble and is well crafted for enjoyment by both performer and audience.

—Josh Gottry



Commercial Discography

Online Recordings

Recent Performances

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Works for Percussion by this Composer

Beja De Groove
Bell Power
Duo Arpeggio
Finding Fossils (Version 1)
Gigue (Åstrand)
Mallet Dance
Rudolph Go Latin
The Meeting
The Nordic Light
Tribus Coloribus
To Brandon
Spinning Plates (Version 1)
Spinning Plates (Version 2)

Additional Resources