This is our first project together. We both have a longstanding love of playing chamber music, combining marimba with violin (Nancy) or flute (Paul). At the PASIC 2019 Pearl/Adams artists cocktail party, Pearl generously raffled some instruments as gifts — the grand prize being a Pearl EM1 malletSTATION that Nancy was shocked to win! (Paul won a beautiful, peaceful-sounding purple tongue drum.) Following PASIC’19, we were in contact occasionally to begin considering a collaboration. Meanwhile, Paul found himself in need of a glockenspiel, and Pearl’s Shawn Lafrenz pointed out a cost-effective option would be a malletSTATION.
Starting in May 2020 — in the midst of the pandemic lockdown, and the crescendo of a national social reckoning — we began nearly weekly conversations (that have continued since). Our goals were to thoughtfully consider what kind of collaboration might be artistically interesting, relevant for the times, and exploratory within the percussion field. We were intrigued that a project combining marimbas and malletSTATIONs could be a means to face our fears of MIDI and technology (and guessed other performers might be curious about the same.) We were gratified that Pearl and Adams were both immediately excited by the project’s creative potential, and offered their generous support.
We are experiencing and contemplating a rapidly shifting world. We are concerned for issues of justice and human safety, and ever more aware of the space between out “outer” and “inner” worlds. Mindful of this context, we have invited five composers to write for the project whose experience reveals a voice we want to hear from now. The project taps into the expressive capabilities of both the marimba and the malletSTATION and highlights the MIDI instrument’s viability within chamber music.
About the Project
We are launching Threshold Music Project with five commissions, each 5 to12 minutes in length. Instrumentation will be one of each instrument, or we will both play both (or any combination in between, e.g. sharing the marimba).
We foresee these commissions will gradually expand to include many more works. We believe the combination of marimba and malletSTATION has the potential to become an established pairing in the percussion world: one that many other players may wish to explore.
We envision the premiere of each piece will happen via video, with the possibility of live performances down the road. As scores become available, this website will serve as a resource for how performance materials can be obtained.