Totem I- IV

for marimba, opt. with percussion quartet (2015-20, 20')

first performance of Totem I: Ramon Lormans, Splendor Amsterdam, 18 August 2015
first performance of Totem II: Ramon Lormans, Stratumseind Klassiek Eindhoven, 17 April 2016
Totem III not yet performed upon publication
first performance of Totem IV with percussion quartet: Emma Gierszal & ensemble, Eastman School of Music, Rochester USA, 10 November 2019

Totem I-IV is a work for solo marimba, with or without percussion quartet.

Throughout the four movements of Totem, Arnold Marinissen has created a sequence of connected musical images, each of them evoking strong and uncanny characters, like human and animal faces on a totem pole. The resulting work is persistent, ritualistic, and somewhat unsettling. Just like the crafter of totem poles, the performer has to dig deep into the wood underneath his hands, to bring to life the spirit that is hidden inside.

Totem I & II were written in 2015-16 for Ramon Lormans; Totem III & IV, as well as parts for percussion quartet, were added in 2019-20, at the request of Martin Grubinger.

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