Earth Tones (by Gary D. Ziek)
Earth Tones was composed in 2011 for the RoseWind Duo (Clifford Leaman, saxophone and Scott Herring, marimba). It is written as a series of seven short descriptive movements, each portraying one of the diverse environments found on the planet Earth.
Movement 1, Ocean is in a flowing, undulating style, reflecting the endless movement of the tides, waves and currents of the ocean.
Movement 2, River begins with a single current of water, which builds to a furious torrent of notes in the saxophone. The raging rapids reside into a flowing waltz, portraying the eddies and gentle currents of a meandering stream. The torrent resumes and the movement drives to a furious conclusion.
Movement 3, Grasslands is gentle and flowing. The marimba and saxophone present a panorama of the vast grasslands of the Earth, with their wide open spaces and hypnotic interplay of grass, wind and light.
Movement 4, Desert is dry and sparse in character. Dry desert winds swirl about in a timeless manner, constantly sculpting the landscape.
Movement 5, Polar is austere, remote, and mysterious in character. These extreme areas of the Earth are distant, and the music moves at its own inexorable pace, reflecting the frigid winds, slowly moving glaciers and floating icebergs found in these regions.
Movement 6, Rain Forest, portrays an area brimming with life. This movement has a gentle groove, and features highly syncopated rhythms. The biodiversity of this area is alluded to by the "bird-calls" in the saxophone. The soprano saxophone part can be performed on the Bb clarinet if desired.
Movement 7, Volcano begins in a simmering manner. The simple chords and melody of the introduction lead to a section of great intensity. The melody undergoes a series of episodes, each more furious and complex than the one before it. These episodes require great virtuosity from both players, and build to an "explosive" conclusion.