G. Bradley Bodine

Composing imaginative music for the best musicians.



Kaleidoscope: Concerto for Marimba and Orchestra

"...The 18-minute piece breaks down into three sections performed without breaks: an explosively energetic first one in which all of the thematic material is presented; a second disarmingly lyrical one that offers a moment of repose, utilizing material from the opening section in augmentation; and an energetic finale—with a solo cadenza near its end—that presents that same material in modified form. The structure reminds me of a standard Haydn sonata allegro and, like Haydn, Bodine pulls it off with an admirable resourcefulness. Along the way he presents illuminating insights into the possibilities of the marimba, and in how to integrate its timbres with those found in his intricately colorful orchestration—one that deploys the orchestral percussion as beyond a merely coloristic element."

- William Zagorski, Fanfare Magazine, Jan/Feb 2010

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Concerto for Marimba and Orchestra

"'Musicscapes' is a collection representing 12 composers and one band. Many of the tracks are selected movements from more extensive works or have appeared on other CDs, so this is really a sampler intended to whet the listener's appetite and encourage further acquaintance with the musicians. Acknowledging the limitations of this scattershot approach, I nonetheless believe it can serve as a fine introduction to some of the many contemporary composers writing accessible, tonally conservative music. Personally, I don't consider musical conservatism objectionable: there's room for everyone at the table. And there's quite a range of sound here to satisfy the adventurous, including an energetic excerpt from what must be a stunning concerto for marimba."

Robert Schulslaper, Fanfare Magazine, July/August 2008

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Desert Songs I

"Last Sunday night the Arizona Repertory Singers presented a connoisseur's program of choral music: 'From Bach to Bodine with Broadway in Between.' ...The highlight of the evening, however, was the world premiere of G. Bradley Bodine's Desert Songs. Commissioned by the Arizona Repertory Singers and the Animas Music Festival, the work consists of three parts and is based on poems by Byrd Baylor. The poems focus on three desert creatures: a Spadefoot toad, a rattlesnake and a buzzard. Each poem illuminates the sounds and silences of their existence.

A lecturer in composition at Purdue University, Bodine was in the audience and introduced the work with comments on the commission. He noted his use of several musical devices to evoke the sounds and life of the desert - repetition, juxtaposition, and his unusual scoring for voice and percussion: marimba, glockenspiel, chimes, sandpaper, and crotales, cymbals with a fairly definite pitch, which in this case were bowed, not struck.

John Pennington, director of percussion studies at Fort Lewis College, and Cary Cook, Pennington's counterpart from the University of Arizona, spread out a spectrum of sound and rhythms to support the singers and the text.

The piece achieved some marvelous word painting, suggesting a sun-scorched desert, movement across rocks, coolness in shadow, and brilliant soaring flight. In the final section, Pennington and Cook played four-handed marimba with an insistent rhythmic pulse that pushed toward a stirring climax. The music rose in radiant harmonies as the chorus sang of 'wheeling, soaring, gliding, drifting - upward.' Then the music suddenly dropped to a hush, and Pennington played quiet chimes: life and death juxtaposed."

- Judith Reynolds, Durango Herald, June 15, 2001

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Rhapsodia for Flute and Marimba

"The latter ('Rhapsodia') offered an eventful, episodic, very clearly-structured work that evoked Greek and Celtic music, Morse Code, and slight hints of jazz."

- Mark Alburger, 21st Century Music, December 2000

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Rhapsody for Horn and Percussion

This composition is written for french horn and a percussionist playing a drumset-like arrangement of instruments. the setup includes a bass drum with pedal, snare drum, assorted cymbals, hi-hat, three tom-toms, and two cowbells. The bass drum is to "sound as close to and orchestral bass drum as possible - with a large open sound." There are also extensive sections for chimes and marimba. The marimba part requires four mallets.

Even though the percussionist is playing a drumset, the part is completely notated. The drumset is often used more as a multiple percussion instrument interacting with the horn, however there are sections that are written in a jazz style, simulating a swing beat. The horn plays jazz inspired melodies throughout.

The piece moves through many stylistic changes including a fast, jazz swing melody in the horn accompanied by a two-beat swing pattern from the percussion. A sixteenth-note section flows into a snare drum solo involving multi-meters. Cadenzas from the horn and the marimba follow, moving to a fanfare accompanied by chimes.

One of the most interesting parts of the work is a 7/8 section with a horn playing a legato melody over jazz chords on the marimba. The sixteenth-note section returns in a kind of recap and the piece ends with a loud flourish.

This is a very original work that is refreshing in its use of the french horn in a jazz context and its use of the drumset in a more classical approach.

- Tom Morgan, Percussive Notes, April 2006

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From Gary Cook

"The Music of Brad Bodine is some of the most well crafted and inspired that I have seen. He understands the potentialities of composing for percussion - marimba especially - from his careful study of the instruments and working with performers and combines this with his innate musical talents. His Concerto for Marimba is one of the finest we have in our repertoire. Brad's composition for other instrumentalists and ensembles are musically inspired and extraordinary for the performers and listener."

-Dr. Gary Cook, University of Arizona

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From Drew Lang

"I have had the privilege of premiering three works by Brad Bodine. Each piece is not only satisfying from a performer standpoint, but also enjoyable to the listener. It is truly gratifying to have marimba music written by a composer of such quality. His Concerto for Marimba and Orchestra stands out as an extraordinary work. Rhapsodia, which was written for Helen Blackburn and myself (Blackburn/Lang Duo) was greeted with such enthusiasm from audiences that we are recording it on our upcoming compact disc."


© 2009 G. Bradley Bodine