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Compositions

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The publications are beautiful! I hope many conservatories and universities will bring in Christos to be a guest  clinician/vibe soloist and coach these pieces with their students. It would be a rich experience for them – and audiences will really enjoy it!

nancy zeltsman,
marimba performer & educator

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LA ESENCIA DEL GUAGUANCO

for two shared marimbas and vibraphone (5 players)

by Curet Alonso / arranged by Christos Rafalides

This is a classic Salsa tune, by Curet Alonso. The arrangement incorporates elements from the Afro-Cuban rhythmic language. Marimba 4 plays the ‘tumbao’ while there is melody and harmony played by the rest of the ensemble. Some serious montunos (latin vamps) are going on over the solo section between the accompanists. Rhythmic accuracy is a prerequisite for this one! Intermediate level, great for college ensembles.

 
 
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PENHA 1708

for two shared marimbas and vibraphone (5 players)

Penha is a building in Willemstad, Curacao that was built in 1708 by the Dutch. It is the loud colors (yellow and green), its unique Caribbean element, that works well with the European baroque architecture.
This piece incorporates three different musical styles: baroque, pop and latin. Lyrical melodies, questions and answers between voices, solo section for improvisers (optional), latin vamp at the end, complimented with fun rhythmic language. Intermediate level, great for college ensembles.

 
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NEW DAY

for marimba and vocals


This piece is groove oriented. I highly recommend practicing it with a metronome with sixteenth-note subdivisions. The feel should be funky, and make you want to tap your feet! Only section C is lyrical and laid back, to create a contrast with the rest of the piece. I composed this piece in the summer of 2016 through a commission by marimbist/vocalist Ben Pitt. The piece may be performed by a singing marimbist, or by a marimbist joined by a singer (or even a melodic instrument). It’s also fine to play it as a marimba solo. 

 
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WHISPER MAGIC

for Solo Vibraphone

When pianist Sergio Salvatore told me that we were playing a concert at Carnegie Hall in NYC presenting the music from our latest recording “Dark Sand”, he mentioned that he would play a solo piano piece and asked me if there was a solo vibraphone piece that I would like to play. That’s when I composed “Whisper Magic” and I got to do its world premiere at that concert. Later I got to record it on “Manhattan Vibes” album “Blue November”.

 
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HORTENSIA

for Vibraphone & Double Bass

“Hortensia” is a classical ballet term in which the male dancer looks like swimming in the air, as he jumps with the legs drawn up, one in front of the other, then reverses their position several times before landing with the feet apart again. I wrote this piece for a duo project featuring Petros Klampanis on bass and myself on vibraphone. We recorded and featured it as the first track of our CD which was named after our band, “Point Two”. 

 
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AURORA

for solo Vibraphone

Aurora is a solo vibraphone piece that requires advanced 4 mallet technique, pedaling and dampening. Rhythmic, melodic and easy going, with tension build up in the B section, Aurora can be a great addition to your repertoire whether you are performing at a school recital or a concert. Enjoy!

 
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REACHING FOR SINDHU

3-part solo vibraphone suite


Reaching for Sindhu by Christos Rafalides is a three part suite for solo vibraphone. The piece begins with eight bars of introduction that leads into Section A where the melody is introduced. The repeat of the section essentially established 'home' that is safe, comfortable, and warm. Section B marks the departure, and journey begins into the unexpected an unknown. Section C begins the introduction of the Indian Konnakol by recreating the concept of the tabla on the vibraphone. Numerous subdivisions over a 7/8 pattern are featured in this section. Section D keeps the 7/8 pulse but it is converted into a syncopated latin feel.

 
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FAST AND FURIOUS

Etude for Vibraphone

An etude for vibraphone that requires your audience to put their seat belts on! Fast-paced, technically challenging and fun to play, make this piece part of your repertoire or play it as an encore. 

 
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TRES PALABRAS

for two shared marimbas and vibraphone (5 players)

This is a lyrical bolero, a classic latin love song, written by the renowned Cuban composer Osvaldo Fares. Passionate and dynamic, with a solo section incorporating layers of montunos, based on this style of music. Intermediate level, great for college ensembles.

 
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CAPULLITO DE ALELI

for two shared marimbas and vibraphone (5 players)

Written by Puertorican composer Rafael Hernandez, this is a medium tempo piece in A major, based on 2-3 clave. A classic Latin song that incorporates layers of montunos based on this style of music. Intermediate level, great for college ensembles.

 
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RODINIA

for two shared marimbas and vibraphone (5 players)


This composition is characterized by lyrical melodies and challenging rhythmic modulations. It starts off with an easy going ‘4 on the floor’ vamp that evolves with the use of polyrhythm that leads to a 3/8 section. Straight eight feel over all along with an easy solo section for improvisers. Intermediate level, great for college ensembles.

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LORO

for two shared marimbas and vibraphone (5 players)

This piece is based on a rhythm coming from South America, called Bayou, and incorporates a soulful melody along with dance oriented accompaniment. Written by the renowned brazilian composer Egberto Gismonti, the piece contains an easy -yet groovy- solo section, that improvisers will surely enjoy. Intermediate level, great for college ensembles.

 
 
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Video coming soon...

JELLYFISH


A solo marimba piece that is fun to play, while challenging your groove! 

Designed for intermediate level college students, Jellyfish is about 4 minutes long and can be performed at a school recital or concert. Enjoy!