Year: 2009

Heading: concerto for marimba

First Performances:
2010 Tromp International Music Competition and Festival
Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Colin Currie, guest soloist, November 13, 2010 (chamber version)

2010 Tromp finalists, Alexej Gerassimez, Mike Truesdell, and Vassilena Serafimova, November 20, 2010 (orchestral version)

Ji Hye Jung, University of Kansas Wind Ensemble/Paul Popiel, November 13, 2011, Kauffman Center, Kansas City (wind ensemble version)

3 versions are available.

  • string quartet, shaker player, and marimba solo
  • orchestra ( marimba solo
  • wind ensemble and marimba solo

Duration: 15'

The stand-out was "Mojave," Michael Torke's sound poem...There was so much for the ear to feast on...
—Luke Quinton, American-Statesman

...the comparison [to Reich] didn't diminish the work's breezy charms, where a blend of looser-limbed minimalism and feel-good neo-romanticism evoked the desert car trips Torke regularly takes between Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
—The Washington Post

Program Notes:
Mojave is a marimba concerto commissioned by the 2010 Tromp International Music Competition and Festival, and written for Colin Currie.

It has three versions, marimba with string quartet, and marimba and orchestra, and marimba with wind ensemble.

The Mojave Desert, located in southern Nevada and northern California, is an arid landscape with sparse vegetation. The pulse of the marimba with accompaniment represents the moving panorama as you drive Interstate 15 between Las Vegas and Los Angeles. This is held together by the 8th notes of the maraca player—sounding like the dry prickly plant life
who plays throughout.