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Arlington by Russell Hartenberger

Arlington by Russell Hartenberger

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Arlington (2020) is for solo snare drum with percussion ensemble accompaniment. The piece is framed around two rhythms that are used in combination with one another. One is a drum beating that is played in funerals at Arlington National Cemetery and was played at the funeral of President John F. Kennedy. The second outlines the rhythm of a drum beating that was performed as an invocation at the opening of the World Drums concerts at Expo 86 in Vancouver by First Nations drummer Marc Aliskaswa. The snare drum part also incorporates timeline patterns from West African drum ensemble music as well as traditional North American rudimental drumming styles. There is a concept in West African music called melorhythm in which rhythms suggest melodies; this is how many of the melodic figures in Arlington are derived. Some of the other melodic and harmonic elements are references to music by J. S. Bach and Steve Reich. Arlington was commissioned by Ryan Scott as part of his 21stC Canadian Snare Drum project — Russell Hartenberger

Cover Design by Bonnie Sheckter

Total duration is ca. 13 minutes.

Instrumentation (percussion ensemble, 6 players plus soloist):

  • 2 Snare Drums (snares off) — high, low
  • 2 Marimbas
  • 2 Vibraphones (motors off)
  • 2 Bass Drums (muted) — medium, large
  • Crotale — high Eb
  • Piano

Specs: 1 score, 7 parts,  11h x 8.5w, Advanced level.

About the Composer:

Russell Hartenberger is Professor Emeritus and former Dean of the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto. He has been a member of both Nexus and Steve Reich & Musicians since 1971. As a member of Nexus, he created the soundtrack for the Academy Award winning Full-Length Documentary, The Man Who Skied Down Everest. With Steve Reich and Musicians, he performed on the Grammy Award winning recording of Music for 18 Musicians.  He is author of the book Performance Practice in the Music of Steve Reich, editor of The Cambridge Companion to Percussion, and co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to Rhythm. His awards include the Toronto Arts Award in 1989, Banff Centre for the Arts National Award in 1997, a Juno nomination in 2005, and was inducted into the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame in 1999. He was presented with the Leonardo da Vinci World Award of Arts by the World Cultural Council in 2017. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Toronto Musicians’ Association in 2019 and the Lifetime Achievement in Education Award by the Percussive Arts Society in 2020.

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