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Five Pieces for Vibraphone Solo

Five Pieces For Vibraphone - Ron Levy
00:00 / 00:00

Five Pieces For Vibraphone Solo


Commissioned by Glenna Kipp

First performance: December 1, 2014


Hoson House, Tustin, CA

Jonathan Kipp — vibraphone


1. Blue Afro

2. Salt

3. Spacewalk

4. Will o' the wisp

5. Epilogue


1. The "afro" in "Blue Afro" references Mongo Santamaria’s “Afro Blue”, from which it borrows it's basic West African 12/8 “atsia*” groove.


Movements 2-4 are loosely based on established jazz standards. The titles offer clues as to their sources, which are not immediately obvious upon listening. It is preferred not to “give away” the sources to audience members until after they have heard the piece.


2. "Salt" is based on the standard Lady Is A Tramp. (S.A.L.T. = Lady iS A Tramp)


3. "Spacewalk" follows the chord changes of "Stella by Starlight" (stellar ... star ... space)


4. "Will o’ the Wisp". The title plays on "Willow Weep for Me", on whose chord changes the movement is based.


5. "Epilogue". The only piece in the set not inspired by a jazz standard; its processional quality made it a fitting way to close the set.



The overall mood is somber, low key, and spare, emphasizing the purity and consistency of the vibraphone’s tone. Simple and direct, like Japanese brush painting, or tamari (a subject upon which Glenna Kipp is an expert).


The whimsical illustrations in the score are by the composer — and may be reprinted in program notes.

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