We Are Heros (2020)
2x 5 octave marimba + drumset
“All of you are heroes in your own special way. We are heroes.”
– Adam Tan, to the audience at Percussion All-Stars Season 4 (2020)
We Are Heroes is the largest work I’ve written to date, consisting of three players, two marimbas, two drums and a drum set. I wrote it originally for and dedicate it now to my good friends Jackson Vickery and Jet Kye Chong, who I’ve known for almost the better part of a decade. I’ve always wanted to play something exciting, dynamic and unashamedly bright with these two incredible people as an everlasting reminder of all the things we have gone through together and how much they have supported me since the beginning.
We Are Heroes sounds like it could be representative of fictitious superheroes, like the Avengers, the X-Men or even Saitama from One Punch Man. However, the true meaning of ‘heroes’ in We Are Heroes is intended to represent everyday people who do things for others, rendering them ‘heroes’. For example, during COVID-19, the sacrifice of medical and other frontline staff on a daily basis made us look up to them as heroes. I also consider educators and even parents to be heroes to their students and children respectively. Everyone can be a hero to someone in their own way.
The above is represented with the simple yet memorable themes of We Are Heroes, which are sliced in varying time signatures for an irregular yet forward moving feel and amplified with advanced techniques like large powerful octaves, quick scale runs and continuous one handed rolls. The drum break represents a simplistic expression of the ‘powers’ of everyday heroes, with influences that I’ve picked up from Japanese taiko drumming (Jet is a professional taiko player which helped a lot!), Chinese lion dance and even some elements of Beijing opera. Together, these elements form a powerful soundtrack that I hope inspires you to be heroic and selfless for others.
Collected by William Yueyang Shi