At first glance, an album of marimba instrumentals might sound like a bad idea or even an hour of wasted time, but Windsor’s Nicholas Papador obviously knows more about the magic and mystique of the marimba than unsuspecting listeners may have. Marimba Collage is an incredible soundscape and a gorgeous eargasm for the soul.
Based on the open score works and compositions of Jordan Nobles, the project was brought to life by Papador, who creates large sonic landscapes with the album. It brings out the warm colours of the marimba and places it center stage for one of the most pleasant pieces released in years.
The music of Nobles has had a significant impact on performance studies at the University of Windsor since the composer’s residency at the 2010 Windsor Canadian Music Festival, where student ensembles premiered and performed a number of Nobles’ chamber pieces.
In the following years, Nobles’ Open Score works have been regularly programmed in concerts as well as in improvisation exercises at the University of Windsor School of Creative Arts
The marimba itself, looks and acts much like the popular xylophone we always see in symphonies and orchestras, but unlike its superstar cousin, the marimba is tuned to much softer and subtle tones. It’s a gorgeous percussive instrument that can move the ears to an entirely different platform of sound. On this album, the tones are clean, clear and leading the way, much like a lead guitar might in a rock band.
Both meditative and ambient, Marimba Collage showcases the passion and knowledge Papador has for the instrument. The recordings feature the University of Windsor Percussion Ensemble, with performances from Papador, Martin Andres, Nicholas Baddeley, Aaron Eichler, Vanessa Harnish, Jefferson Hills, Joshua Mathews, Charlie McKittrick, Martin Shultz, Justin Skalaa and Taylor Unis, as well as percussion from Papador, Baddeley, Harnish, and McKittrick.
Recommended listening: Rosetta Stone, Stasis, On a Mote of Dust Suspended in a Sunbeam, and Ostinati.
The album can be purchased at Dr. Disc in Windsor, at Bandcamp or on all streaming outlets.