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Rod Squance, Solo Marimba

29 Jun Posted by in Schedule | Comments
Rod Squance, Solo Marimba

Rod Thomas Squance is quickly gaining recognition as one of Canada’s most exciting musicians. A stunning soloist, Rod captivates audiences with a perfect blend of mature musicianship and sparkling technique. Rod is active as a soloist and freelance percussionist in chamber, orchestral, jazz, Balinese and Hindustani musical traditions. His collaborations with renowned international figures are numerous.

He has performed with Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Project, clarinettist Paquito de Rivera, Korean traditional percussionist Dong-Won Kim, shakuhachi player Kojiro Umezaki, erhuist Yu Hongmei, and tabla players Prafulla Athalye and Sandeep Das. Rod’s playing has been heard on national radio and television broadcasts. He appears in solo recitals regularly, including recitals for national CBC radio broadcasts.

Formally trained as a classical percussionist, Rod holds a doctoral degree from the University of Miami, and is equally comfortable playing jazz vibraphone. He is an experienced performer and scholar of Balinese music, having completed field research studying Balinese shadow theatre musicwith I Ketut Sukayana in Sukawati village, Bali. He is also an accomplished performer of Indian classical music, performing Hindustani raga using a special marimba of his own design, and has performed with tabla players Prafulla Athalye and Abbas Janmohamed.

Rod has studied percussion with Ney Rosauro and Glenn Price, Balinese gender wayang with Brita Heimarck, marimba with Leigh Howard Stevens and for many years developed his musicianship with Canadian pedagogue and violinist, Thomas Rolston. He is currently Associate Professor and Music Division Lead at the University of Calgary, and has served on the faculty of the Banff Centre for the Arts.

June 29, 2022 Program

Suite in G Minor, BWV 995 Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

Transcribed for Solo Marimba by Rod Thomas Squance





                Gavottes I & II


Asturias (Leyenda) Isaac Albéniz (1860-1909)

Transcribed for Solo Marimba by Rod Thomas Squance

Artists Notes:

Originally composed for solo lute, JS Bach’s Suite in G Minor BWV 995 was itself an adaptation of his Suite in C Minor for solo cello. The present arrangement, adapted for solo marimba by Rod Thomas Squance, has technical solutions informed by both lute and cello versions. Bach’s music, particularly his instrumental compositions, are well known for their adaptability to nearly any instrument, as demonstrated here on the marimba, a large xylophone of Central American Indigenous origin, almost certainly unknown to Bach. But one can conjecture that had he known of it, he may very well have produced repertoire for the instrument that would have sounded much like this performance.

Just as Bach adapted his own work for one instrument to the needs of another, there is an almost subconscious element of that in the piano music of Isaac Albéniz(1860-1909). While he wrote for his own instrument, the piano, for many of his works, it is not hard to hear the spirit of flamenco guitar in his keyboard pieces, a natural expression of his Spanish heritage. And in fact transcriptions of many of Albéniz’ works for guitar are so common, many of them are known better as guitar pieces than as pieces for piano, as is certainly the case with Asturias (Leyenda). They return to some of their more pianistic colouring on marimba, yet the flavour of Spain is still much in evidence.