Ripple (1999)

Akira Miyoshi (1933-2013)


Ripple is one of Miyoshi’s last composed marimba solos. It was written as an obligatory piece of the 2nd World Marimba Competition in Okaya, Japan. The title refers to the magma running under the crust of Japan and its islands, which have over 100 active volcanoes. Miyoshi said the piece “begins as fine oscillations and grows into a series of various motions…. The energy of the motions for this piece erupts from deep within the incandescent earth.” This is heard from the very outset with emphatic strikes of the same pitch separated by soft, sustained sound, or the “oscillations” to which Miyoshi referred. These fragmented strikes eventually spiral out or “erupt” into many notes and longer flowing gestures. They themselves oscillate between contrasting passages o f distant beauty arid imminent chaos.


Annotated by Chandler Beaugrand