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Standup Shadow

percussion quartet with speaker
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Composer: Mark Ford
Publisher: Innovative Percussion, Inc.
Instrumentation: 2-marimbas, glass wind chimes, 4-suspended cymbals, large gong(tam-tam), toms(8", 12", 14", 16"(2), 18"), 2 woodblocks(low to high), 2 cowbells(low to high), sandpaper blocks, 2-glockenspiels, maraca, xylophone, "A" chime tube, snare drum, vibraphone, mark tree, 5 timpani, bamboo wind chimes, small tam-tam, 4 log drums(slit drums), suspended finger cymbal, crotales(A,E,F#,C,D)

Program Notes:
Includes 4 onstage percussionists, 5 in audience with crotales, speaker and optional conductor.

Review:
""Standup Shadow" is a contemporary percussion quartet with a backstage narrator (not seen by the audience) and five surprise performers in the audience who each perform one crotale at a climactic portion of this ten-minute composition. Each performer of the basic percussion quartet requires a moderately-large multiple-percussion setup with player 1 functioning primarily with a marimba (4 1/3-octave; four-mallet technique necessary), player 2 performing on xylophone plus accessory percussion, player 3 performing on second marimba (4 1/3-octave) and vibraphone (both with four-mallet technique), and player 4 performing on five timpani plus a large multiple-percussion setup. Of critical importance to the success of "Standup Shadow" is the off-stage narrator (who is amplified with a microphone), who must stylize the mood of an almost "e.e. cummings"-like text (original from Ford as well). A conductor is optional, and the quartet also makes verbal sounds: such as the opening "hissing" sound that is imitated by brush strokes on drumheads. The music is dramatic and must be carefully rehearsed to create an improvisational interplay. This work will contrast the traditional percussion ensemble literature quite nicely, and it reveals a pensive, almost cerebral side of the typically humorous Ford compositional personae (e.g., "Head Talk"). Ford's attention to compositional detail and his involvement of unannounced audience members and an unseen narrator brings a surreal, avant-garde atmosphere to "Standup Shadow."" - Jim Lambert Percussive Notes, June 1998

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Mark Ford Mark Ford
University of North Texas
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