Dr Mary Broughton and Dr Dominic Harvey present a program of music for percussion and horn.

Action and Reaction…Mk II builds on collaborative performance-led research commenced at the Australian Research Council Human Communicative Sciences Network (ARC HCSNet) Perception and Action Workshop in 2006. This performance continues to challenge the notion of the traditional concert. Audience members are invited to participate in the performance experience, using the UQMusic audience-response app as they engage with the audio-visual concert experience.


Drei Phantastische Lieder - Nebojsa Jovan Zivkovic
Three Fantastic Songs                                                                                         

Nyack - David Friedman

Monody (1970) - Jarmo Sermilä

Prelude for Solo Marimba - Mary Broughton

Program Notes

Drei Phantastische Lieder / Three Fantastic Songs

Zivkovic, Nebojsa Jovan (1962-)

Three Fantastic Songs is a set of three concert pieces for four mallet marimba. The pieces range in style between romantic and dodecaphony. Rich Holly wrote in 1989, “…the three movements all explore mallet independence, rolled chords, block chords, and interesting metric variations. While harmony is mostly dissonant, there are some nice voicings of seventh and ninth chords mixed in. Each movement has more than one theme, and they are a combination of ‘rondo tactics’ and ‘through composition’”. 

In 1984 Hermann Schaefer wrote “On the basis of ‘pregnant formulated motifs’ and themes, rhapsodic forms develop wherein almost improvised parts are linked with one another through distinct analogy. The wealth of tension and the strong tonal attraction of theses pieces arise through the counterpoint of the tonal and the atonal, the use of free metrics, impulsive and surprising melodic movements, and the skilful use of the various technical possibilities of the marimba.”

Zivkovic completed his master's degrees in composition, music theory and percussion in Mannheim and Stuttgart, Germany. His compositions and performances extend across Europe, the USA, Taiwan, Japan, Latin America, Korea, Russia and Scandinavian countries. As a soloist, mostly with his own Marimba concertos, Zivkovic has performed with the Stuttgart Philharmonic, Munich Symphony, Bochum Phiharmonic, Austrian Chamber Symphony, Hannover Radio Symphony, Bielefeld Philharmonic, Belgrade Philharmonic, National Orchestra of Costa Rica, Turku Philharmonic Orchestra (Finland), Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra, amongst others. 


David Friedman (1944-)

Nyack was originally written for the mallet percussion duo, Double Image. The composer has become a favourite in mallet percussion duo repertoire possibly through this work alone. Double Image comprised David Friedman on vibraphone and Dave Samuels on marimba, both established masters of mallet percussion with a speciality in jazz-influenced styles. Their recording of Nyack featured as the first track on their 1985 album Dialogues: Three Duets for Marimba and Vibraphone. A repeating harmonic structure provides the framework within which intricate melodic lines and chordal accompaniments can flourish. Following on from the introductory theme, the majority of the work comprises two lengthy solo sections, first featuring the vibraphone and then the marimba. The piece takes its name from the village of Nyack in New York. The work apparently takes listeners on an elaborate journey through this area.

David Friedman is looked upon as one of the most influential vibraphonists in the history of the instrument. He is internationally well known as a vibraphonist, marimbist, composer and jazz educator.

He founded the jazz program at Berlin’s University of the Arts, and served as its head for sixteen years. He has presented master classes around Europe, North America and Japan. His book, Vibraphone Technique, Dampening and Pedaling, is considered a major contribution to mallet instruction books.

Monody (1970)

Jarmo Sermilä (1939-) (Finland)

Jarmo Sermilä began his career in music as a jazz trumpet and flugelhorn player in the 1960s.  In the 1970s, Sermilä’s career focus shifted to classical concert music composition as a means of stable employment. 

The bulk of Sermilä’s compositional output is in the form of chamber music. Avoiding traditional compositional formats and combinations of instruments provides him with opportunities to explore timbres and textures and the interaction between them.  His compositional style is in a melodic, linear fashion rather than vertical and harmonic.

During his early compositional career in the 1970s, Sermilä was categorised as a “Modernist”.  A feature of his early style is the preference towards static and/or free rhythms as opposed to confinement to a regular pulse. Yet, both exist dichotomously within Monody.  Sermilä’s fondness of improvisation stems from his early performing life as a jazz musician and is evident in the form of seemingly aleatoric (i.e., random) counterpoint.  Edgard Varése’s compositional concepts of ‘organised sound’ and free tonality were an important early influence on Sermilä—just as Varése had significantly influenced other ‘popular’ artists in America such as Frank Zappa.  Monody hails from this 70s period.  Monody explores mixtures of tone colours, sounds and textures that have become synonymous with Sermilä’s compositional signature.  The Varése influence on Monody is most immediately apparent by the use of the siren, echoing Varése’s most popular percussion ensemble work, Ionisation (1929). However, Varése’s use of the siren predates Ionisation by almost ten years in his large scale symphonic work Amériques (1918-1921); a type of ‘organised sound’ response to Stravinsky’s largely folk-song-derived Rite of Spring (1913).  The title ‘Monody’ typically refers to a poetic lament sung at the death of a person or character, at least in its derivation from ancient Greek tragedy. This could account for Sermilä’s slow tempo marking, verse-like sections, and with the horn acting as the vocal part accompanied by un-pitched percussion.

Prelude for Solo Marimba

Mary Broughton (1977-) (Australia)

This piece composed by Mary Broughton was first performed by the composer in 2007 and later recorded on the CD release, Shift in 2009. The work was later published by Rhythmscape (the premiere percussion publishing house in Australia). 

The work is evocative of a neo-baroque style, composed especially for the 5-octave marimba. Four-mallet technique is used throughout. The work begins with a free, adagio introduction espousing a mood of reflection and even introversion. The dynamic modulations encompass a broad spectrum of contrast, and the composer accommodates for personal expressive of interpretation. Following a pause to this reflectiveness, the tempo changes to a slightly quicker and more driven rhythm (in 5/8) that continues for the remainder of the work. The melodic material remains tonal throughout this latter section, exploring complementary and pleasing diversions. Despite its ‘unevenness’, the 5/8 meter takes on a particular ‘naturalness’, the work as a whole retaining its neo-baroque roots. The work comes to rest pleasingly upon its original opening key centre.

Prelude for Solo Marimba is a well-crafted work for this percussion keyboard instrument. It is idiomatic of the 5-octave marimba, and makes good use of its warm, wooden timbre. Students with strong technique and a mature sense of phrasing and dynamic control will enjoy performing Prelude for Marimba.

Program notes credit: Dr Dominic G. Harvey

With thanks to Supriya Arora for research assistance in preparing the program notes.

About the performers

Dr Mary Broughton

Mary is the newly appointed Lecturer in Music Psychology in the UQ School of Music. Her research activities focus on social, psychological, emotional and health elements relating to the human experience of making and interacting with music. Mary’s special interest is in performance-led research, and understanding and developing audiences for live music performance. As a percussionist, he has performed with orchestras such as the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and West Australian Symphony Orchestra, and has performed nationally and internationally as a chamber and solo musician.

Dr Dominic G. Harvey

Dominic's performance credentials are comprehensive, spanning solo, chamber and orchestral engagements on horn, voice, piano, and conducting, and also outside of strictly classical music including musical theatre, light opera, oratorio, jazz, rock n' roll, popular and folk idioms. Dominic has performed as Principal Horn with the Sydney, Melbourne, Tasmanian, and Canberra Symphony Orchestras, the Australian Chamber Orchestra, and as Principal baroque and classical hornist with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra. He was the long time hornist with the internationally acclaimed wind quintet, The Canberra Wind Soloists. Dominic holds degrees of Bachelor of Music (Performance), Master of Business Administration (Leadership), and Doctor of Philosophy (Music Performance Education).

Ms Gabriella Gigante

Gabriella is currently completing her fourth year of a Bachelor of Music majoring in Performance at the University of Queensland under the tutelage of Dr Michael Askill. This year a particular focus has been her mallet percussion in the context of chamber duets, having given recitals paired with bass clarinet, flute, and marimba. She has also completed an internship under the supervision of Dr Mary Broughton, as tutor of a percussion survey course at the University of the Third Age. Recent concerts include Student Composers: The Dust Never Settles, wherein the compositions of her peers were premiered alongside corresponding installations at the UQ Art Museum. Gabriella is presently undergoing preparation for her final undergraduate recital, which will feature diverse contemporary works for solo percussion and electronic accompaniment


Nickson Room, Zelman Cowen Building, School of Music