STILTSVILLE CONCERTO (2013) - double concerto for marimba, piano, and orchestra

Awards: Winner of an ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award, 2014

 

Duration:  ca. 18 min

 

Program Note:

 

About one mile south of the Key Biscayne shore is a group of houses collectively known as “Stiltsville.” Their name comes from their rickety wooden supports above the shallow water. The houses were built in the 1930’s as sites for gambling, drinking, and boating. Since then, they have been through hurricanes, neglect, and potential demolition. But seven houses remain today as historical landmarks. There is a poeticism to these seemingly fragile structures—each is like an individual against the fury of weather and the open water. This theme is central to the romantic notion of the concerto, where soloists work with and against the overwhelming wall of sound that is the orchestra, like an individual against the powerful forces of nature.

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This notion provided inspiration for Stiltsville Concerto. I chose piano and marimba as my solo instruments, taking them through a South Florida storm and its aftermath, approaching the notion of a protective stilt in a different way each movement. These three movements portray the individuality of each house as well as their strength and perseverance against unspeakable natural forces in a strange, open landscape.