1. Prelude - 1:50
2. Dragonfly 2:18
3. Praying Mantis - 2:47
4. Black Widow Spider - 2:20
5. Tiger Swallowtail - 2:41
6. Army Ants - 2:35
Bb Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
Bb Bass Clarinet
Bb Contrabass Clarinet
Alto Saxophone I-II
Trumpet (in Bb) I-II-III
French Horn I-II-III-IV
Percussion I-II-III-IV-V-VI-VII, including:
- Bass Drum
- Bar Chimes
- Cymbals (crash, splash and suspended)
- Marching Machine
- Orchestra Bells
- Snare Drum (3)
- Tam Tam
- Tom-Toms (4)
Players snapping fingers
None discovered thus far.
Bugs came to mind a few years ago and the thought of giving a "musical personality" to the selected bugs seemed humorous, inventive and capricious all at the same time. The insect and spider collection at the Fields Museum of Natural History in Chicago, Illinois, provided inspiration, and at the same time made it difficult for Cichy to narrow the list down to about six or so. The particular bugs represented in this suite were chosen partly because of the contrasting styles of music that would be composed for each.
Prelude, which begins the suite, was not conceived as part of the original set of movements but was included when Cichy began work on the piece. "The suite seemed to need an introduction, and this just came out and fell into place," commented Cichy. The prelude is meant to suggest many of the creatures we associate as bugs.
Dragonfly portrays several issues. First, the insect is really considered an aquatic bug, spending most of its life under water while emerging only in its adult stage to take to the air. The second issue is reflected in folklore where the dragonfly is responsible for flying around at night and sewing all the mouths of fibbing boys and girls.
Praying Mantis, as its name implies, provides a perfect topic for a slow, religioso movement. The mantis is often pictured resting with its front legs folded as though in meditation or prayer. The rather bizarre mating tendencies of the praying mantis were purposefully left out of this movement.
Black Widow Spider was a movement Cichy could not resist. Set to a cool blues, the opening statement was written with an eight note pattern (eight legs of the spider) which changes several times in order of notes but contains the same pitches. Within a few repetitions of the pattern, five more notes are added to complete a dodecaphonic (twelve-note) scale. In its entirety, the dodecaphonic scale is played from C to C an octave higher, working inward to the center pitch (F#) which represent the spider's web. The textures begin changing from cool blues to hot as the black widow spider approaches its prey with its deadly venom.
The suite would be incomplete without the most gorgeous of all insects, the butterfly. Cichy chose Tiger Swallowtail for no particular reason other than it is commonly the "flying flower." Set in a lyrical style, this movement tries to musically depict the grace and beauty of such a remarkable insect.
The final movement, Army Ants, provides the perfect subject for a march-style piece. Cichy created a dissonant march portraying the ants as savage predators which are constantly on the move.
- Program Note from score
- Audio CD: Drake University Wind Symphony (Robert Meunier, conductor)
- Audio CD: University of St. Thomas (Matthew George, conductor)
None discovered thus far.
To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project
- West Virginia University (Morgantown) Wind Symphony (Scott C. Tobias, conductor) – 9 March 2020
- University of Texas, Arlington, Symphonic Band and Winds (Christopher Evans, conductor) – 2 December 2018
- California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, Wind Ensemble (Christopher J. Woodruff, conductor) – 12 November 2017
- Ouachita Baptist University (Arkadelphia, Ark.) Wind Ensemble (Craig V. Hamilton, conductor) – 30 October 2017
- University of North Texas (Denton) University Band (Kelly Desjardins, conductor)– 4 October 2017
- The Ohio State University (Columbus) Symphonic Band (Onsby C. Rose, conductor) – 13 April 2017
- Danville (Calif.) Community Band (Robert Calonico, conductor) – 10 April 2016
- San Jose Wind Symphony (Edward Harris, conductor) - 9 March 2014
- Santa Rosa Junior College Wind Symphony (Joe Perea, conductor) - 9 December 2010
Works for Winds by this Composer
- Amazing Grace (as arranger) (1779/2014)
- American Band Salute
- and make a joyous sound
- Bugs (2000)
- Colours (1997)
- Divertimento for Winds and Percussion (1994)
- El Caballero (2000)
- Emblazoned Joy
- Fanfare for a Festive Day (1996)
- First Flights
- Flowing Pens from Concord (2013)
- For Purple Mountain Majesties (2005)
- Galilean Moons (1996)
- Geometric Dances (2007)
- Hats Off (2016)
- New Millennium, Different World, New Beginnings
- Pandemonium (2006)
- Quartets (2006/2012)
- Sounds, Sketches, and Ideas
- T. Rex
- We Walked with Heads Held High (2006)
- Wisconsin Soundscapes
- Miles, Richard B., and Larry Blocher. 2002. Teaching Music Through Performance in Band. Volume 4. Chicago: GIA Publications. pp. 590-602.