The Third Half of the Circle

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Gene Fambrough

General Info

Year: 2004
Duration: c.
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Innovative Percussion
Cost: Score and Parts - $15.00   |   Score Only - $0.00



Marimba, Vibraphone (pedal fixed down), Crotales (low octave – DO NOT use high octave), Large (22") and Medium (18") Chinese Cymbals, China Splash (8") or similar effect cymbal, Large and Small Log Drums (multiple pitches), 2 Mark Trees (double row if possible), Multiple sets of Metal Wind Chimes (various pitch ranges and timbres)[1]

Program Notes

The concept behind this work is for the performer to accompany him / herself on marimba through the use of sustaining metal instruments, sounding like multiple performers within a solo work. When multiple vibraphones are available, choose the instrument with the longest sustain. It is necessary to use the low octave of crotales for best sustain.


This is a multiple percussion work with a brief section of CD accompaniment. The work is scored for marimba (low E), vibraphone, crotales, cymbals, log drums, and multiple sets of wind chimes. The composer states that the general premise of the work is the ability of the marimbist to accompany himself with longer resonating metallic instruments. It begins with a free section emphasizing mark tree, cymbals and crotales. The marimba emerges from this texture with sixteenth-note triplets that suggest the primary theme of the work. After a brief interlude of cymbals, crotales and vibraphone, the sixteenth-note figures return in the marimba, with punctuating, long tones on the crotales. This section continues for a while, finally yielding to a transitional segment of linear figures in the marimba, culminating in an explosive run to the top of the instrument. The tension it creates is quickly released in the ensuing chorale section. Here again, the performer is asked to sustain notes in the marimba via independent roll, while the other hand plays figures on the vibes and crotales. The CD accompaniment begins at the end of this section. The performer begins to improvise in the style of the opening of the work over the gong, cymbal and drum sounds on the recording. The marimba re-enters with groovy sixteenth notes over the recorded drum sounds. The rhythms in the marimba part become increasingly syncopated as the intensity builds, then gradually wind down into a short, improvised section on log drums. As the CD fades away, the performer is left playing sparse figures on the resonant metal sounds. The work ends with three, very soft rolled chords in the marimba with a single, introspective note on the crotales as a finale. The mixture of coloristic and rhythmic devices used in this work make is interesting for the performer and the listener. - Scott Herring Percussive Notes, April 2006[2]



Commercial Discography

Recent Performances

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Works for Percussion by this Composer

...the latest dire situation - Multiple Percussion; live Electronics
Digital Reflections - Marching Tenors; with Tape
Distant Light - Marimba
Four Movements for Timpani - Timpani
Le Batteur - Multiple Percussion
Mario Can't Dance in the Kitchen - Multiple Percussion
Medal of Honor - Marimba
Night Songs - Marimba
Occam's Razor - Marimba; Percussion Quartet
Shadowfax - Snare Drum; Percussion Quartet
The Mystic - Electronic Percussion Ensemble
The Third Half of the Circle - Marimba, Multiple Percussion Solo
Three Cycles - Snare Drum; with Tape
Torch - Marimba
Where Thou Art, That is Home - Marimba
Windsong - Vibraphone
Wires and Connections - Electronic Percussion Solo

Additional Resources