Red (Marimba Duet) by Marc Mellits
Stephen Clark and Mark Owens performing the marimba duet, “Red,” by composer Marc Mellits.
Written by the modern-day American composer Marc Mellits, the marimba duet “Red” reflects Mellits’ influences by minimalist and rock music. Consisting of six contrasting yet connected movements, the piece is largely built around repeated phrases and metric modulation between players. This composition opens with a very “rock-sounding” first movement, then transitions into a harmonically interesting second movement that offers a glimpse of the piece’s ending. The third movement features a sort of “call-and-response” between players, and the fourth a contrasting “rolling section” that helps provide a break in the general furiousness of the piece. A very technically-difficult fifth movement features quick interval jumps within rapid chord changes. Finally, a wild sixth movement changes time signature nearly every measure and leaves the listeners (and players) breathless with hearts pounding.