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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CKD385
Recording details: November 2009
Saidera Mastering, Tokyo, Japan
Produced by Kim Campbell
Engineered by Seigen Ono
Release date: May 2011
Total duration: 16 minutes 26 seconds

'Steve Reich's trademark mesmeric repetitions take on another quality here when they are lifted away from their intended scoring and given to percussion. Japanese virtuoso Kuniko finds new sonorities in Electric Counterpoint, written for guitars, when transferring it to steel pans, marimba and vibraphone, and brings Vermont Counterpoint (for flutes) to dazzling, invigorating life on the vibraphone. All these studio works involve vast amounts of pre-recording to refine their pleasing results, none more so than Six Marimbas Counterpoint which involves five pre-recorded tracks behind a solo line. It's a hypnotic and strangely calming experience' (The Observer)

'The music is familiar, but the artist isn't. This is Japanese percussionist Kuniko's debut album for Linn, in which she premieres her own percussion arrangements of three of American minimalist Steve Reich's 'counterpoints' of the 1980s—Electronic Counterpoint, Six Marimbas Counterpoint and Vermont Counterpoint. She focuses on a sound world dominated by marimba, vibraphone and steel pans, which colour these works with soft-cushioned textures. But it is her direct collaboration with Reich, and a worldwide network of top sound producers, that adds sheen to the multi-tracked finished article' (The Scotsman)

'If you're a fan of Steve Reich's work, you'll certainly find this an interesting disc … Reich's music is based on rhythm, and percussion is the most apt type of instrument to perform it' (MusicWeb International) » More

Six Marimbas
composer
1986; arranged in 2010 for solo marimba and pre-recorded tape
arranger

Six Marimbas  [16'26]  arr. Kuniko Kato (b?)

Introduction
Six Marimbas, composed in 1986, is a rescoring for marimbas of my earlier Six Pianos (1973). The idea to rescore came from my friend, the percussionist James Preiss, who has been a member of my ensemble since 1971 and also contributed the hand and mallet alterations that are used in this score.

The piece begins with three marimbas playing the same eight beat rhythmic pattern, but with different notes for each marimba. One of the other marimbas begins to gradually build up the exact pattern of one of the marimbas already playing by putting the notes of the fifth beat on the seventh beat, then putting the notes of the first beat on the third beat, and so on, reconstructing the same pattern with the same notes, but two beats out of phase. When this canonic relationship has been fully constructed, the two other marimbas double some of the many melodic patterns resulting from this four marimba relationship. By gradually increasing their volume they bring these resulting patterns up to the surface of the music; then, by lowering the volume they slowly return them to the overall contrapuntal web, in which the listener can hear them continuing along with many others in the ongoing four marimba relationship.

This process of rhythmic construction followed by doubling the resulting patterns is then continued in the three sections of the piece that are marked off by changes of mode and gradually higher position on the marimba, the first in D flat Major, the second in E flat dorian, and the third in B flat natural minor.

from notes by Steve Reich 2011

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