Timothy Beattie- Composer

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Shortcut (Marimba Concertino)- I was inspired to write this piece after listening to the well-known John Adams composition “Short Ride in a Fast Machine”.  So, in some ways my composition is in homage to this great work.  The motor rhythms at the beginning of the piece are reminiscent of the same mechanical age that John Adams portrayed in his piece.  These motor rhythms transition into a more gentle solo marimba melody.  The solo marimba then plays a more vigorous second theme.  Following the second theme is the development section, which ends in a flurry of notes that symbolizes “the machine” falling apart.   After a brief slow section, the recapitulation begins.  The recapitulation is then followed by the marimba cadenza.  The cadenza ends with aggressive figures that bring back the motor rhythms of “the machine”, which drive the piece to its dramatic conclusion.

Shortcut (Live USA percussion ensemble)
University of South Alabama Percussion Ensemble
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Four Corners- Concerto for Marimba and Full Orchestra (video is Third Movement-Big Sur)

Each movement of this concerto is inspired by an American author and a certain part of the country they wrote about. This third movement is inspired by the writings of John Steinbeck. The specific area is Big Sur which is a national park on the California coast. It’s an interesting place because of the variety of natural beauty. There is emerald green water, plunging rock faces, and towering red wood trees. The work starts and ends with a fast-paced musical drive down the PCH 1 that leads into the national park. Mobile Symphony Youth Orchestra, Gustavo Miranda- Marimba Soloist, Timothy Beattie-Conductor.




This work seeks to explore the idea of potential energy in a spring-loaded contraption.  The tension is ratcheted in the beginning of the work with flourishes in the marimba and snare drum.  The potential energy is created in this introduction and remains until the "release" halfway through the piece created by the frenzied figures in timpani, two marimbas, and vibraphone.  The kinetic energy having dissipated, the work then strives to "load the spring" again with persistent rhythmic ostinatos.
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