My favorite pitched percussion instrument is the marimba. A marimba can have a range of up to seven octaves, but the standard is four octaves (C3 to C7) or four-and-a-third octaves (A7 to C7). My Musser instrument is a four-and-a-third.
This particular marimba is very dear to me because it belonged to world renowned marimba artist Leigh Howard Stevens. I had the opportunity to study with Stevens in the 90's and in 2009 I made the pilgrimage to New Jersey to bring home Vida (the marimba is lovingly named after Vida Chenoweth Leigh's marimba teacher). When I picked up the instrument, Leigh told me that he hand-picked each rosewood bar over the course of many years to build this particular keyboard. He listened to each bar and decided which ones would make up this beautiful gem. When the marimba was complete he recorded Bach for Bars on this very instrument!
While most of my playing lately has been on the drumset, I am currently practicing a marimba piece to be recorded in the fall with a very talented Charleston, SC guitarist. It was written by Evelyn Glennie and it is one of the most hauntingly beautiful pieces I have heard.
The grand reveal will be soon! So stay tuned, if you're not familiar with the marimba you soon will be.