Eulogy (2002)

Eulogy for two marimbas and percussion ensemble

Bob Hohner was my percussion instructor during my undergraduate years at CMU, and when he died unexpectedly in 2000 I felt an enormous absence in my life. I desperately wanted to write a piece for percussion that would honor him, and a year later the opportunity presented itself. My good friends Eric and Stacey Jones had recently founded the Equal Temperament percussion duo and wanted to commission a piece from me. I ended up writing Eulogy for them as a double concerto for marimba and within its bars tried to honor Bob's spirit in the best way I knew how. The piece begins with a slow chordal introduction before introducing the first thematic element separately in each marimba part. This subsequently morphs into an intricate, pounding chordal trade-off section between the two marimbists while the four-person percussion ensemble accompanies with bursts of activity on tom-toms and log drums. A short fugal section follows with the marimbists chasing each other in imitative counterpoint before slowing down to a long chorale set to the Medieval plainsong "Laudate Dominum in tympanis, cantate Domino in cymbalis," translated as "Praise the lord with drums, sing unto the lord with cymbals."

(Available from the composer)