Troublesome Fire for wind ensemble and electronics
During the summer and fall of 2020, Colorado experienced the largest and most destructive wildfires in its entire history. Western US wildfires have become an all too common occurrence as human-caused climate change has continued to affect the environment in dramatic fashion. The Cameron Peak and East Troublesome Fires burned hundreds of thousands of acres in portions of Rocky Mountain National Park and surrounding national forests, only a couple dozen miles from my own home. A gigantic pyrocumulonimbus cloud rose above the mountains and could be seen from hundreds of miles away. Ash fell for weeks and the sun was obscured almost completely during the fire's peak. Were it not for an unexpectedly early and heavy snow, the damage could have been exponentially worse.
My new piece deals with the anger, fear, and frustration I felt during these fires and continue to linger as our fragile and beautiful planet remains in such peril. In a single movement, my composition will depict the progression of these events, from the initial spark (theorized to be caused by stray gunfire), to the incredible destructive climax, and concluding with the anxious calm of a snow-covered field with embers still smoldering beneath. Aleatoric techniques, myriad percussion, and a digital soundscape will enhance the already dramatic palette of the wind ensemble. A major source of inspiration that is referenced throughout is Scriabin's Vers La Flamme ("Towards the Flame") which the pianist Horowitz claimed was a depiction of a cataclysmic heat and fire that would consume the earth.
Cost per institution - $300 (due by September 1, 2022)
Limited to 25 institutions
Anticipated Completion - May 1, 2022
Performance Exclusivity through June 1, 2023
Unlimited performance rights for member institutions and associated conductors
Composer will provide up to one hour of ensemble interaction for each institution in the form of attending streaming rehearsals or verbal feedback from recordings for no additional fee.
A video introduction of the piece will be provided by the composer
Each institution will receive a bound 11x17 score with inscription of the conductor's name institution on the title page. Parts provided in PDF format.
Difficulty - Medium-Advanced (approx. grade 5)
Duration - 8-10 minutes
Instrumentation - standard wind ensemble including piano (no harp or English horn)
Ableton Live software will be used to trigger digital files as indicated in score. This software can be used indefinitely free of charge in trial mode. The composer will provide all files and instructions for use.
Any Windows or Mac computer capable of running the current version of Ableton Live
A digital audio interface is recommended, but not required.
Stereo or Quadrophonic PA speakers; Subwoofer is recommended; Stage monitor is optional. Conductor will NOT need in-ear-monitor.