Program Note Composed in 2007 with revisions in 2010, A Spirit Unbroken was premiered at the Percussive Arts Society Ohio Day of Percussion by the Ohio University Percussion Ensemble. The title is a reference to Larry McMurtry’s description of Crazy Horse from his short biography of the Oglala Sioux warrior. The piece is scored for solo vibraphone, 4 marimbas, chimes, crotales, glockenspiel, and three multi- percussionists. The physical set-up of the piece pits the solo vibraphone against the percussion and the mallet percussion functions as a choir. Inspiration for the piece came from several diverse sources including the music of Senegalese singer Baaba Maal, Stravinsky’s Symphony in C, the music of Keith Jarrett, jazz improvisation, and Bata drumming of Cuba. The dominant 12/8 meter of the piece reflects the polyrhythmic nature of West African music where pulses of four and six exist simultaneously.
Instrumentation and Percussion Map
Recording- Live Performance University of Wisconsin-Madison Western Percussion Ensemble Roger Braun, Vibraphone Soloist