I wanted to give Marimolin something they didn't have. The title came first, a nice alliteration — "fabled" as in the dictionary definition "mythical, legendary, having no real existence." I wrote about twenty, then did the real composing, into a sequence of character pieces.
I imagine Marimolin, in their originality of design, their enterprise, their resourceful musicianship, as having a kinship with street musicians. My piece would be at home in both the subway station and the concert hall. I also conceive it as suitable, in its modest technical demands, for some junior Marimba-style duo, who would transpose up the passages designed for Nancy Zeltsman's marimba gigantica.
— John Harbison