For prepared vibraphone solo (30’, in 6 movements)
Program note:
An Economy of Means is a kind of companion piece to my trio An Index of Possibility. In Index I
used a wide range of materials—glass, metal, wood, ceramic, drums, toys, found objects—to
create a large form that moved between distinctive worlds within a broad sonic palette. With An
Economy of Means I’ve done the opposite, deliberately using one instrument, the vibraphone,
and forcing myself to make the most out of limited resources. With a few simple

preparations—tin foil, a manilla folder—and judicious usage of the vibraphone’s natural
properties, I tried to build something vast and varied, as broad and ambitious as the trio but in a
narrower, more focused context. Set in six movements, the nearly thirty minute piece doesn’t
have a specific narrative. Even so, I think there is always a sense of motion, of drifting from
space to space, with little dramas unfolding along the way. An Economy of Means was
commissioned by Doug Perkins and a consortium of alumni from the Chosen Vale Summer
Percussion Seminar. I think the infectious spirit of friendship and collaboration so strongly felt at
Chosen Vale found its way into this work, and for that I am extremely grateful. – Robert Honstein

Annotated by Reed Puleo