In “Walking Distance,” one of the earliest episodes of The Twilight Zone, Rod Serling established a strangely beautiful sense of existential awareness as a man attempts to relive the happiest moments of his youth, only to realize those moments are well behind him. It is a profound realization which evokes deep sadness, even regret, and yet promises hope for those who attempt to better themselves in the future.
Composed for two marimbas, Peter Naughton’s Walking Distance reflects these sentiments, juxtaposing innocence with nostalgic melancholy. The piece establishes three simple and distinctive themes, which become more densely developed and intertwined with each other. The freewheeling lyricism and subtle grooves of this piece provide the performers a range of expressive possibilities within a consistent pulse.
This piece requires a 4-octave marimba and a 4.6-octave (low E) marimba. If a 4.6-octave instrument isn’t available, the Marimba 2 part may be performed on a 4.5-octave (low F) instrument by transposing any low E notes up an octave.