In Memoriam: Tomas Tranströmer

Solo Percussionist for Vibraphone and Marimba

6 min duration


A unique piece written for a collogue at U of T, Boyce Jeffries Jr for a double keyboard percussion solo. 



This work takes inspiration from Nobel award winning poet Tomas Tranströmer (1931-2015). I am constantly drawn to his poetry. His work uses deep imagery to point to what is already here, rather than create something unneeded. He often elevates the everyday, reminding us that what we need is often close by.  The following excerpts are placed throughout the score

“The only thing I want to say gleams out of reach”

“Here, it’s mostly a struggle between roots, numbers, transitions of light”

“The calendar is full but the future blank”

“Colours meet and blend into each other in the dampened pages of a child’s painting book”

These poetic images inspired me while writing the piece. They illuminate deeper thoughts the music holds for me.  The music often juxtaposes florid, almost improvisatory gestures with more strict and rigid ostinato passages. The intersection between simple and complex, or measurable and the almost unmeasurable is my attempt to translate Tranströmer’s images into music.

About Composer

Matthew Emery (b.1991) is a Canadian composer whose music has been performed in sixteen countries. He currently lives and works in Toronto, Canada where he maintains an active composition and teaching studio.

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