Otten, Fabian: Samsara for Solo Marimba

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Samsara for Solo Marimba - 10 Min.; 4 mallets, advanced; 1st Price at Stellar Composer Competition 2021

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Duration: aprox. 10 min.

Samsara is the Buddhist word for the cycle of existence; meaning not only rebirth, but also describing the attempt of achieving happiness through materialistic goods (always aiming for more and for better circumstances). We think, we will be happier by serving our ego; we want to be better than others and highly regarded. These thoughts bind us to the Samsara

The first part of the piece is a theme of predetermined fate which is driven by emotions; the theme is trying to hold onto something constant which does not exist. 

The second part begins with a calm ostinato and a soft peaceful melody (like a meditation) - we find peace in ourselves through states of mind like love, compassion, patience and equanimity. Respecting all living beings and contemplating the dependent origination are central aspects. The emotions are under control and for the first time, real happiness from being free of desires and temper shows up, but later loses itself again through digression. The rest of the piece plays with the contrast of the two themes and ends with reminiscences of the inner peace.

Samsara is the award-winning composition (1st prize) of the Advanced Category at the Stellar Composer Competition 2021. 

Supported by the Stellar Composer Competition 2021.

Fabian Otten is the principal percussionist of the Philharmonic State Orchestra of Hamburg, Germany. Born in 1993 in Steinheim, Germany, he started to play piano and percussion at the age of six. In search of something which combines these two instruments, he fell in love with the sound of the marimba. 

He studied percussion in Hamburg with Massimo Drechsler, Stephan Cürlis and Cornelia Monske, and completed his studies in Berlin with Rainer Seegers, Franz Schindlbeck and Biao Li. As a percussionist and marimbist he won several prizes including the special award of the Bayerischer Rundfunk, 2nd prize at the International 'Marimba Festiva‘ Competition and the 'Eduard-Söring-Preis' in Hamburg. 

Composing has always been his passion. Alongside his percussion studies, he enhanced his knowledge in music theory and took private lessons with Professor Fredrik Schwenk. Through his compositions he hopes to increase awareness of the emotional possibilites of his instrument.

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