compositions | chamber | songs of the human spirit (2016)

Songs of the Human Spirit (2016)

Medium: Duet Collection for Vibraphone & Marimba
Publisher: C. Alan Publications
Composed: 2016
Duration: 30:00+
Difficulty: Intermediate


Look Inside Score

Two 3-octave Vibraphones
One 4.3-octave Marimba
One 5-octave Marimba
2-mallet, 4-mallet, 2 Bass Bows

Commissioned by a consortium of performers and educators organized by John Kilkenny and Daniel Heagney, Songs of the Human Spirit is grouped into three sections of five solos each — Marimba + Marimba , Vibraphone + Vibraphone , and Vibraphone + Marimba . Each duet ranges in duration from 2 to 3 minutes and utilizes two or four mallets or, in the case of the vibraphone duet “Loneliness,” a bass bow plus two mallets. Instead of attempting to create a sequential etude book, I aimed to provide a varied musical experience from solo to solo, exploring different techniques (percussive & compositional), moods/emotions, and ensemble challenges.

To give even more cohesiveness to the collection, I added titles to each solo, taken from the brilliant collection of essays “Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words” by David Whyte. I encourage you to pick up this book and absorb his poetic thoughts, if only to reflect on what it is to be human.


1. Besieged
2. Regret
3. Ambition
4. Longing
5. Crisis

6. Gratitude
7. Vulnerability
8. Loneliness
9. Haunted
10. Joy

11. Beauty
12. Disappointment
13. Unrequited
14. Nostalgia
15. Forgiveness

The Consortium
Consortium Organizers

John Kilkenny (George Mason University)
Daniel Heagney

Consortium Members
Balanced Structure (Kathryn Irwin and Emily Strachan)
Mike Blake (University of North Dakota)
BluHill (Brian Blume and Colin Hill)
Marc Damoulakis (Cleveland Institute of Music)
Tommy Dobbs (University of Arknasas-Fort Smith)
Doctors in Residence (Kendra McLean and Memmi Ochi)
Duomo (Ashley Tini and Emily Strachan)
Adam Groh (Graceland University)
Matthew Halligan (Fairfax, VA)
Frank Kumor (Kutztown University, PA)
Joe W. Moore III (UTRGV Brownsville, TX)
Robert McCormick (University of South Florida)
Oliver Molina (Northwestern State University, LA)
Luis Rivera & Matthew Greenwood (University of South Alabama)
Jeff Sass (MN)
Steady State (Eric and Tim Shuster)
Lynn Vartan (Southern Utah University)
Tracy Wiggins (University of North Alabama)
Brian Zator (Texas A&M University-Commerce)