In 2014 and 2016 I spent many happy months in Antigua, the former colonial capital of Guatemala. Sitting in the bustling central park one could often hear semi-informal street performances on the marimba, the national instrument of the country.
Though I didn’t hear it played in combination with the marimba it was also very common to hear snatches of melody from hand-carved wooden flutes. These were most often played by wandering vendors, who serenaded passing tourists in an effort to sell them an instrument. I bought one, of course…
Perhaps then it was this memory that attracted me to the combination of flute and marimba and, certainly, the resulting piece has something of the liveliness of that particular location, even though the work is not programmatic.
The piece contrasts two groups of material, one heavily driven and rhythmically well-defined, the other more fleeting. Whilst the two groups never really meet, they share motivic material and effect each other either by contrast or through processes of transition.