Composer: Matthew Coley
Instrument: Percussion Ensemble
Duration: 6 min.
Contemplation was originally written in 2004 as a dance and percussion collaboration. The choreographer I was collaborating with was after a piece of music that exhibited a clear beat for the dancers but had multiple sections and moods to work with. The percussion parts were written with limited resources in mind. I was teaching at various schools throughout Chicago and was inspired to write interesting and contemplative music that could be performed in most music school situations. Over the years the piece has proven to be very successful as a concert piece, however dance is always a welcomed addition to my music. Contemplation is dedicated to the Iowa State University Percussion Ensemble.
Percussion Ensemble (8 players)
3 Snare Drums
5 Metal Objects
About the composer +
Matthew Coley is a marimba, percussion, and dulcimer artist specializing in contemporary solo and chamber music and concerti. He is currently professor of percussion at Iowa State University, and holds degrees from Northwestern University and the University of North Texas. Matthew performs regularly as a soloist throughout the US and Europe, traveling annually to Chisinau, Moldova to perform concerts, concerto premieres, and masterclasses.
He has performed as soloist with such ensembles as San Francisco Sinfonietta, Millen-nium Chamber Players, Moldavian Philharmonic and Tele-Radio Orchestras, and Third Coast Percussion. In 2010, he will also perform as soloist with several ensembles, finish his first solo marimba album, and tour with percussion duo SI2.
In 2009 he was featured in Time Out Chicago Magazine, performed the US premiere of Marcin Blazewicz’s Concerto Rustico for marimba and strings, the World premiere of Ghenadie Ciobanu’s Breeze of the South Latitudes Marimba Concerto, and his composition, Journey for Solo Marimba, Piano, and Percussion Ensemble was featured as part of the University of North Texas Percussion Ensemble concert at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention.
In 2008, Matthew place third in the prestigious 5th World Marimba Competition Stuttgart, and is the first American to ever place in this competition. In 2005, he placed third in the Minnesota Orchestra Young Artist Competition, and in 2000 won first in the Music Teachers National Association Solo Percussion Competition and the Percussive Arts Society Marimba Concerto Competition.
Matthew is founding artistic director of SONIC INERTIA, and an active member in the percussion duo SI2 with Cory Hills. He collaborates regularly with choreographers and is most recently working with Valerie Williams and Co’Motion Dance Theatre. Matthew has presented concerts and masterclasses at several universities throughout the US, some of which include Louisiana State University, University of Maryland, and Virginia Commonwealth University. He is endorsed and published by Innovative Percussion, endorsed by Dynasty and Grover Percussion, and published by Edition SVITZER. He can be found on the web at www.hearmatthewcoley.com.
Review (Percussive Notes, July 2012)
If you are in search of a disc with great recording quality, a high level of performance, and an eclectic collection of tracks, this title should be added to your iTunes wish list. Matthew Coley’s Souvenirs delivers 80 minutes of diverse works for solo marimba, marimba and piano duo, and percussion ensemble.
I appreciate Coley’s willingness to break-up the monotony of the typical solo marimba recording. His implemen- tation of chamber works and the order of tracks really contribute to the listener’s enjoyment.
One is immediately struck by the first track’s adaptation of a Piazzola tango; this version for marimba and piano serves as a fun welcome before immersing the listener in contemporary percussion literature. Two solo marimba tracks follow, and then the listener is taken on a programmatic journey to a casino in “Glitz!” This chamber work includes Coley performing on dulcimer. The early harmonies of Stravinsky follow on solo marimba. After the evocation of the “big-three ballets,” you will again find yourself engaged in chamber music with “Running Towards Empty.” This piece was written for Coley and the Iowa State Percussion Ensemble. The penulti- mate track confronts the listener with 14 minutes of Klezmer-style solo marimba. The final track is the only one composed by the performer. “Journey” bookends the recording with the same instrumentation in which it began.
I applaud all of the players on their level of performance; it is excellent. With the ease of creating high-quality recordings these days, the programming can make a disc stand out from the masses. Bravo to Coley and his fellow performers for doing just that!
—T. Adam Blackstock
Front Cover graphics and layout: Ronni Kot Wenzell
Engraving: Matthew Coley / Johan Svitzer
Printed in Copenhagen, Denmark
Copyright © Edition SVITZER