• Evelyn Glennie marimba
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    Piece #8: Sonata 2 for Viola, Marimba, Piano

    This is a fun little ditty! Another stab at the traditional Sonata Form, this piece is for a trio of performers: viola, marimba and piano. To my thinking, there is not enough marimba included in the standard instrumentation these days, (click it to tweet it) yet like the saxophone or bass clarinet, it has a great many experts and has become a common option thanks to folk like Evelyn Glennie. Sonata Form Structure This piece is based on Psalm 102 and although it does not follow a similar structure (the focus of this piece was the structure called “Sonata Form“) I did use the content of the psalm to influence the…

  • Conductor Composer Stephen P Brown
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    When to say no

    Last night I performed at an awards ceremony. It was a great show directed by a great showman Peter Stark (the former American ballet dancer, not the English conductor). One of the musical highlights for me was conducting a special arrangement of “Kashmir” made famous by Led Zeppelin, and more recently by the electric string quartet “Escala“. Our arrangement was for full orchestra, rock band, vocal soloist and two choirs – love it.     But also on the programme was a peppy little number I wrote myself – the last movement of my Marimba Concerto 1. I led a performance of the whole piece earlier this week with Glenda…

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    Exclusive “Schmooze with Stephen”

    Let’s take a break from seeing how a composition is created for a moment, because here’s something really exciting for you. Over the next couple of months I have three pretty important events (amongst many others) taking place around the USA. All three are featuring new pieces of mine, including the Sonata for Chamber Orchestra we’ve been exploring in this blog, a brand new marimba concerto (in which I’ll attempt to play the solo part – should’ve been a bit kinder, methinks!), my string quartet, my wind quintet, and a cute little ditty called Green Painting based on one of three pictures I bought from a legless (literally) street vendor in Lilongwe, the…

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    Downtown

    The first of my two favorite movements in my latest composition. It also happens to be the last movement actually written. “Downtown.” There are many downtowns in the Tampa Bay area that could be represented by music: Dunedin could display a Scottish or bagpipe influence – after all, even their high school marching band has pipers! Or we could look to the very edge of Tampa Bay at Tarpon Springs, and include a Greek music influence. Certainly fun. Hoopa! Clearwater, Tampa itself, Bradenton, Seminole, St Petersburg, Ybor, Egypt Lake-Leto, all have cultural influences from around the world, so the decision became tough. In the end, I decided to simply title…