Purdy’s Maze

Performed by the University of Wisconsin – Madison Percussion Ensemble

Marimba Quartet

Publisher: Innovative Percussion, Inc.

Instrumentation: 2 Marimba low A, 1 Marimba low C, 1 Marimba low E (optional low A)


“Commissioned by Christopher Deane for his University of North Texas marimba student quartet, “Purdy’s Maze” requires two low-A marimbas, one low-E marimba and one five-octave marimba. Starting with an unusual polyphonic 12-measure passage of “stick clicks” in 4/4, each performer gradually changes from stick clicks to brief melodic units that function as transitional embryonic fragmentation. After a second unison cadence on G sharp, the quartet begins its musical conversation with each performer stating a slightly different set of melodic pitches. Metric shifts from 4/4 to 9/8 to 8/8 back to 4/4 supply just the right amount of contrast from the opening 4/4 groove. Continued variations upon the opening rhythms provide unique interest in this challenging marimba quartet. After a brief return to the opening “stick click” section, the 204-measure quartet climaxes with a driving, rhythmically satisfying ending.” – Jim Lambert – Percussive Notes, October 2006

Sample Score Purdy’s Maze

Cara Schoonover, Jonathan Jackson, Christopher Larson, Mike Hodges, Christopher Deane, and Brian Nozny after the premier of Purdy’s Maze