“Klarg” is a very dramatic piece that goes through several moods in quick succession. Don’t be shy about going for the big contrasts; without them the shape of the piece won’t emerge. Here are a few other specific tips for success with your performance of this solo:
• The syncopated theme that opens the piece has lots of empty space. Be sure you feel the pulse strongly through the rests. Listeners might not be able to tell where the beat is, but they will hear the difference if you don’t know where it is!
• Observe the articulations carefully. Tenuto often indicates a light accent, and that’s how it’s used here. Measures 19–23 therefore have three volume levels: unaccented, tenuto, and full accent. The opening and closing sections use accents to enhance the crescendo and diminuendo, respectively.
• Use your grip on the mallet to get an appropriate tone in the various sections. For example, a firmer grip will help make the sixteenth-notes more articulate, while a looser grip will allow the quieter sections to sing.
I hope you enjoy this piece!
Matthew Richmond is a percussionist, composer, recording artist, and educator. He performs most frequently with Like Mind Trio (original jazz) and the Asheville Symphony Orchestra, and he also has performed and/or recorded with stephaniesĭd, Jonathan Scales, Lizz Wright, Lionel Loueke, Jeff Sipe, Billy Jonas, Kevin Spears, and Kat Williams, and played on the album Infinity Plus One by Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, which won the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Children’s Album. As a composer, Matthew has created works for string orchestra, symphonic band, jazz ensemble, chorus, chamber ensembles, electronics, and instrumental soloists. He has composed and directed music for dance and drama performances by Asheville Ballet, Norte Marr, Black Swan Theatre, and The Road Company, and created the score for the feature film Flight of the Cardinal (Gaston Pictures). Matthew teaches percussion, composition, jazz, and music theory at UNC-Asheville. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Percussion Performance from East Tennessee State University, and a master’s degree in Percussion Performance and Composition from Ithaca College.