In June 2020 we published a great new vibraphone piece, called Variations for Solo Vibraphone (First Song Variations). It is from the hand of the well-known pianist Michael Pagán. It was originally composed in 2018 and is dedicated to Doug Walter. The theme on which the work is based is derived from the composition First Song by Charlie Haden (1937-2014).

Description of the variations:

  1. Slowly, in the style of a jazz ballad
  2. Repeated note accompaniment
  3. Two-part invention
  4. Broken thirds*
  5. Contrary motion*
  6. Triplets*
  7. Recitative – should be played freely and dramatically
  8. Horn call*
  9. Palindromes*
  10. Major mode – chorale with theme in bass
  11. Crossing of hands*
  12. Virtuosic – a pause or intermission may be taken after this one
  13. Impressionistic
  14. Jazz
  15. Jazz
  16. Fourths (in the style of Hindemith)*
  17. Jazz waltz (in the style of Bill Evans)
  18. Funk-rock
  19. Syncopated imitation
  20. Fast jazz with optional improvised cadenzas and coda

*suitable for marimba

All tempo markings are approximate and may be adjusted, within reason, to the preference of the performer. As stated in m. 1 of the theme, the sustain pedal should be used throughout the entire work at the discretion of the performer. This is also true for the choices of mallets for the various movements, some of which may be played on marimba, and are *marked.