This piece is a virtuosic solo marimba piece about falling stars. These stars can be the small flickers of light we see racing across the sky, mysteriously increasing our sense of wonder at the vast universe; or they could be apocalyptic events such as the metaphorical ‘stars’ (asteroids) that cause mass extinctions or even the swelling sun that will eventually consume the earth in 5 billion years. This duality is present in this piece in the gradual transformation of the various falling chromatic scales from distant and luminous to aggressive and violent.

The piece follows a large scale sonata form, where the first subject is a mournful leaping melody that slowly emerges from the desolation of the falling stars at the beginning of the piece. This develops into the second theme, a passionate low register chorale. The development tosses these ideas together in two large surges of music interrupted by a return to the opening texture with the falling stars moved to the bass register. The recapitulation is the other interpretation of the falling stars: huge, crashing chromatic octaves racing across the entire register of the instrument. The first and second theme are presented again in the original key, but with the texture completely transformed. This leads to a moment of collapse and a brief echo of phrases from earlier in the piece played ethereally using fingernails on the highest register of the instrument. The coda gradually builds up the energy again to conclude with the return of the huge octaves and chromatic scales spanning the instrument.

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