Xenolith (or "foreign rock") is a rock fragment that becomes enveloped in a larger rock during the latter's development and solidification. Xenoliths may be engulfed along the margins of a magma chamber, torn loose from the walls of an erupting lava conduit, or picked up along the base of a flowing body of lava on the Earth's surface.
With this as inspiration, I set out to write a musical depiction of this natural formation. In the bookend chorale sections, you hear the calm before the storm (though the bubbling below the surface can be perceived). This leads to a "B" section that depicts the lava being tossed about and those rock fragments being torn from the earth.
Xenolith for solo marimba is gratefully dedicated to Michael Barnes, who commissioned the work.
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