Beyond the Cloud of Unknowing

Ensemble: Marimba solo
Duration: 9:00 minutes

Reviews:

“A better piece was Beyond the Cloud of UnKnowing, performed by Eric Hollenbeck. It caught my attention from the beginning and held it well beyond the final note. It contained a remarkable contrast of dynamics. The contrast represented a struggle between chaos and order, in which order is represented by consonant melodic and harmonic fragments that reoccur throughout the piece, and chaos is represented by more dissonant material that obscures the former.”
~Stephen Shillito, “BAMA brings the avant-garde to UM,” The Alabamian, April 21, 1999

Program Notes:

Beyond the Cloud of Unknowing was written in 1992 for Scott Deal, and received an honorable mention in the Percussive Arts Society’s International Solo Marimba Composition Competition.  It is based on nebulous symmetrical opening chords, which gradually reveal the work’s governing idea.  It may be thought of as a struggle between chaos and order, in which order is represented by consonant melodic and harmonic fragments that reoccur throughout the piece, and chaos is represented by more dissonant material that obscures the former.  By the end of the work, through repetition, the more dissonant material takes on a familiar character, and the boundaries between chaos and order become blurred.

Premiere: April 1993
Scott Deal, marimba
SCI-UM Gala Concert
Miami, FL