Deep Red, co-commissioned by the Eastern Music Festival and Tanglewood Music Center, receives the world premiere performance on July 21, 2014, in Greensboro, North Carolina, with Gerard Schwarz conducting and John Parks as the soloist.
The orchestration calls for the solo marimba with an ensemble of 11 players: flute, oboe (doubles English horn), clarinet in B-flat, bassoon, French horn in F, piano, 2 violins, viola, violoncello and double bass.
One of the most challenging aspects in writing for the marimba is the instrument’s limited range of timbre. In this work, I attempted to remedy this by using different devices in orchestration, some sublte while others bold. What I hope to achieve is an assortment of tonal colors within the warm deep red marimba sound.
The basic thematic materials of the work comes from the reconstruction of a love song I wrote during my teenage years living in Qinghai, a remote province on the Tibetan Plateau in northwestern China, where folk music was abundant.
— Bright Sheng
The FIVE-OCTAVE Marimba needs to be amplified with a single speaker placed near the soloist. The house system should not be used.