Program Notes

Last Chances is a medium-advanced marimba solo about watching the destruction of something beautiful while no one seems to care. The piece starts out relatively pretty and peaceful but goes downhill quickly from there. 


My sister has told me about a beautiful mural in the town where she lived being destroyed to make way for new construction. The mural was a unique, surreal illustration of an octopus that appeared to be bursting through the walls of the building on which it was painted. The painting was vibrant with blues and reds that truly brought the octopus to life. It was an absolute delight and my sister’s favorite piece in a town full of beautiful murals. Then one day, the demolition crews arrived, and down came the building, and of course, the mural with it. My sister says that corner of town is a little dimmer now, without its enormous, bright guardian. 


Last Chances begins with a beautiful, floating melody, but right at the start you can feel the anxiety simmering below the surface. As the piece goes on, that unease grows until it blossoms into a softer, more desolate variation of the main theme. This is followed by the introduction of a new theme and then a chorale that begins quietly but quickly grows into a powerful lament, as if to mourn what is being lost. Finally, the return of the main theme begins slowly and then develops into something else entirely, angry and desperate, before gradually fading out, as if evaporating into the darkness.

Last Chances is the perfect opportunity for medium-advanced players to showcase their musicality and lyrical expression.