I’ve always been a big fan of the “large” percussion ensemble, and this piece is no exception being scored for 11 players and enough instruments to fill a stage. The two main components are a sextuplet-based processional theme, and a light-hearted mixed-meter swing theme. Woven throughout the piece is an ostinato that first appears as a timpani solo, and then reprises on various other instruments in different forms and contexts throughout the piece (listen for it on keyboards during the swing section). I tend not to write music about a specific event or thing. Most of my compositions are inspired more by general concepts of emotion and mood. The processional theme tries to capture a feeling of searching in desperation—of dark forces in slow deliberate pursuit of those who would evade capture. The melody is based upon the notes of G, C-sharp, and D (one, sharp-four, and five). The use of sharp-fourths in the melodic structure here adds tension and the minor key gives it a dark feeling. The running sextuplets add energy. The swing themes, while much more light-hearted, have somewhat of an off-balance feel through the use of mixed-meter grooves. I am fond of “tight” harmonies, so here I used chords based on a one-two-five structure. The use of the 2nd in the chord structure (instead of the 3rd) along with added dissonant tones provides more melodic tension. A vibes duet during the swing section is in a “question-and-answer” style that evokes a calling between two individuals —perhaps separated by a great distance and seeking each other. Drums, featured later, add something of a tribal flavor. The mixed meter continues the off-balanced feel, while the increased sonic levels add excitement. A quiet keyboards-only ballad near the end incorporates both the use of sharp-fourths and seconds melodically, but in a much different atmosphere. It represents a feeling of quiet loneliness or solitude. So, you have: desperation, darkness, tension, energy, an off-balance feeling, a calling, excitement, and loneliness. I hope you enjoy it. —Andrew Stout
The Lost by Andrew Stout
I’ve always been a big fan of the “large” percussion ensemble, and this piece is no exception being.... Read More
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