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This arrangement of Muisca by Dr. Omar Carmenates, Associate Professor of Percussion, Furman University, USA, is from a collection of Psathas’ works arranged by Carmenates for percussion ensemble entitled The John Psathas Percussion Project.
With its restless time signatures, a gentle liveliness inhabits Muisca’s first movement 'Soledad', while elsewhere certain syncopated figures recall the strum-based rhythms of the work’s original incarnation for guitar. Sleepy yet mysterious, the second movement 'Chia' sees the marimba and vibraphone enjoy some gentle melodic interplay, with the marimba then settling into a lightly swinging rhythmic bed in its rich lower register, allowing room for the vibraphone’s statements in its resonant lower voice. The gentle, odd metered marimba groove that opens the final movement 'El Dorado' lays a foundation for the vibraphone’s own groove based melodies to interlock with, their lines tumbling through shifting time signatures reminiscent of the first movement before the duo’s increasingly busy interplay is peppered with quickfire synchronised runs.
Commissioned by Jane Curry with funding from Creative New Zealand