Bob Hohner was one of my closest friends and musical companions. He was one of the very few people I know who didn’t want a recording of music that he was to perform. It was his joy to discover musical sound. It was his insistent and persistent effort with Arcadia II: Concerto for Marimba and Percussion Ensemble
that rescued this “failed” piece from oblivion, and started a long collaboration between us. I wrote Montana Music: Three Dances for Percussion
for him, and then In Lonely Fields
for Percussion and Orchestra. He recorded Arcadia II
, Montana Music
, and Crown of Thorns
, and we were started on yet another composing project when he died. That project was to have been a “Symphony for Percussion.” I had a flash vision of a stage full of percussion, a large percussion orchestra – sections of marimbas and vibraphones – and lots of players, and I heard them playing a full-scale symphony.
The project came to a halt with Bob’s death, but I decided for his memorial piece that I would write at least one movement of this work, using all of the percussion forces available at the time at Central Michigan University. It is offered in memory of Bob, whose dedicated life as performer, teacher and friend touched, and continues to touch, many thousands of people.
Program Note by David Maslanka