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Percussion soloist and collaborator Matthew Coley began Heartland Marimba Festival Publications (formerly Sonic Inertia Publications) in 2014 to celebrate the unique collection of solo music that he performs regularly. HMFP specializes in distinctive 21st century solo, concerto, and chamber music for percussion and hammered dulcimer. The pieces available through HMFP will range from, but are not exclusive to, solo marimba transcriptions, new marimba and dulcimer solos, percussion and dulcimer concertos (with chamber and large ensembles), and a variety of mixed ensemble and percussion chamber music.
It has been a longtime mission of Matthew’s to see new concert contemporary music written for the Appalachian/American hammered dulcimer. Originally inspired by chamber compositions such as George Crumb’s Quest, in which one of the percussion players has to play a dulcimer with alternate tuning, and Ralph Shapey’s Intermezzo for dulcimer and piano, Matthew saw great potential in the capabilities of the hammered dulcimer as a voice in a chamber ensemble. Additionally, from pieces such as Rudi Spring’s Invokations for solo hackbrett (German dulcimer) the idea came about to expand, with a greater ultimate course in mind, the solo repertoire for the Appalachian hammered dulcimer. Now that this vision is underway, the next logical step seemed to be to find a way to present the music to the classical music world in a professional format so that eventually more hammered dulcimer players would enter the stage performing classical and modern concert music.
In more recent years Matthew has begun to collaborate with composers on a unique concept of the percussion concerto with unusual accompanying ensembles. HMFP is working to offer rare pieces for the percussionist and dulcimerist of which are not bound by centuries of classical music tradition when settling on an ensemble to accompany the soloist: i.e. marimba and contrabass ensemble or dulcimer and percussion sextet. This has also been carried further by reversing the concept and using the percussion ensemble to accompany unusual solo instruments: i.e. Neil Thornock’s Lurgy for Carillon and Percussion Ensemble.
Along this great road of collaboration, several other unique solo percussion pieces were composed for Matthew. These, in addition to other great pieces that have been written for other great performers, newly uncovered gems, and compositions and arrangements by Matthew are what HMFP hopes to bring to more concert performances.
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