Heirlooms by Catherine Likhuta
- Music Box (Marimba and Piano)
- Jazz Record (Vibraphone and Piano – optional SD brushes)
- Where we come from (Marimba and Piano)
Heirlooms for piano and percussion duet (marimba/vibraphone) was commissioned by Trichotomy for their 2021 project with Brisbane-based percussionist Nozomi Omote. The difficulty level is aimed at strong high school players, while also being entertaining and engaging for university students and professional players. The piece was written during the Covid-19 pandemic, at a time when I was unable to leave Australia, visit my homeland of Ukraine, see my family or visit places important to me from my childhood. This was a time of reflection and recollection in my life, and every composition I wrote during this period had some melancholic personal aspect to it, perhaps as a subconscious attempt to keep in touch with those dear to me but far away. Composed in three movements, each telling its own little musical story, Heirlooms is about the sense of family, connection, heritage and personal story.
The first movement, Music Box, is the most melancholic of the three. It is somewhat mysterious and mesmerizing, sweet and sentimental, just like memories themselves. It is a delicately textured dialogue between piano and marimba as if they are two siblings or cousins, reminiscing together about their distant childhood.
The second movement, Jazz Record, is inspired by my early introduction to jazz. I came from a family of musicians, with a number of jazz drummers on my father’s side. As a result, we had had jazz playing in our household since before I could remember myself. Jazz Record serves as a gentle and fun introduction to the jazz idiom for younger players who may not have had much or any previous exposure to this musical style. The improvisations are written out, and the form is reminiscent of a jazz standard often heard at a jazz club. I paired up piano with vibraphone instead of marimba for this movement, as vibraphone is one of the most quintessential jazz instruments to me.
The final movement, Where We Come From, is energetic, driven and determined. It draws some inspirations from jazz-rock and gutsy Ukrainian folk music. It is also inspired by my experience as a performer (pianist) and the type of reaffirming music I most enjoyed playing in my teens and early 20s.
Each of the movements can be performed as a separate piece.
Stems Player – Music Box:
Stems Player – Jazz Record:
Stems Player – Where We Come From – COMING SOON
Music Box – In Studio
Jazz Record – In studio video:
Where We Come From – In studio video:
Catherine Likhuta is an Australian-based composer, pianist and recording artist. Her music exhibits high emotional charge, programmatic nature and rhythmic complexity. Her pieces have been played extensively around the world, including highly prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, Glyndebourne Opera House, the Midwest Clinic, six International Horn Symposiums and two World Saxophone Congresses. She is a two-time winner of the International Horn Society Composition Contest (virtuoso division) and a recipient of several awards, including two grants from the Australia Council for the Arts. Catherine holds a five-year post-graduate degree in composition from the Tchaikovsky National Music Academy of Ukraine (Kyiv Conservatory) and a PhD in composition from the University of Queensland. She is an active performer, often playing her own music. She has performed as a soloist with the Cornell University Wind Ensemble and was the pianist on Adam Unsworth’s CD Snapshots. Her works can be heard on Albany, Cala, Equilibrium and Summit Records.
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body