We are Heroes
Composer: Adam Tan
Instrument: Percussion Trio
Duration: 4 min.
We Are Heroes is the largest work I've written to date, consisting of three players, two marimbas, two drums and a drum set. I wrote it originally for and dedicate it now to my good friends Jackson Vickery and Jet Kye Chong, who I've known for almost the better part of a decade. I've always wanted to play something exciting, dynamic and unashamedly bright with these two incredible people as an everlasting reminder of all the things we have gone through together and how much they have supported me since the beginning.
We Are Heroes sounds like it could be representative of fictitious superheroes, like the Avengers, the X-Men or even Saitama from One Punch Man. However, the true meaning of 'heroes' in We Are Heroes is intended to represent everyday people who do things for others, rendering them 'heroes'. For example, during COVID-19, the sacrifice of medical and other frontline staff on a daily basis made us look up to them as heroes. I also consider educators and even parents to be heroes to their students and children respectively. Everyone can be a hero to someone in their own way.
The above is represented with the simple yet memorable themes of We Are Heroes, which are sliced in varying time signatures for an irregular yet forward moving feel and amplified with advanced techniques like large powerful octaves, quick scale runs and continuous one handed rolls. The drum break represents a simplistic expression of the 'powers' of everyday heroes, with influences that I've picked up from Japanese taiko drumming (Jet is a professional taiko player which helped a lot!), Chinese lion dance and even some elements of Beijing opera. Together, these elements form a powerful soundtrack that I hope inspires you to be heroic and selfless for others.
Two marimbas and drums
Performed by Adam Tan, Jet Kye Chong and Jackson Vickery
About the composer +
Adam Tan is a marimba soloist, educator and composer based in Perth, Western Australia. Adam is most known for being a YouTube content creator on THE STUDIO, a self-produced YouTube show uploading weekly episodes for education and entertainment relating to percussion.
Adam has performed and presented in-person in Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan and the United States, and has also presented online classes in Argentina, Central America and the United Kingdom. Highlights include solo performances at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC), inc. percussion days (Japan), PAS Hong Kong Days of Percussion and Oh! Asian Percussionists Series (Hong Kong), Malaysia Percussion Festival, Chosen Vale Percussion Seminar (USA), Australian Percussion Gathering and masterclass presentations at the 505A Percussion Gathering (Hong Kong), MalletLab Summer Intensive (USA), WA Day of Percussion (Australia) and various universities and schools across Taiwan.
As a composer, Adam's works for percussion are performed regularly as they appear in repertoire lists for auditions, examinations and competitions around the world, such as the UIL Texas Prescribed Music List (PML). Adam’s works can be listened to on all music streaming platforms and stores.
Adam is the founder and director of Marimbafest Australia, a non-profit organisation dedicated to the promotion of percussive arts in Australia, curating various events including the annual marimba festival and competition Marimbafest, as well as the annual concert series Percussion All-Stars.
Adam has a Master of Music (Research, Percussion) and Bachelor of Music (1st Class Hons) from the University of Western Australia Conservatorium of Music.
Adam is a Marimba One Premier Artist and a Signature Artist of Encore Mallets with his own signature series of mallets. Adam's compositions are published by Edition Svitzer.