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Carbon Paper and Nitrogen Ink

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Adam Silverman

Adam Silverman


General Info

Year: 2013
Duration: c. 20:30
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Adam B. Silverman Music Publications
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $200.00; (digital) - $100.00


Movements

1. Spiral threads of vital spirit
2. glowing
3. on the fabric of the human body


Instrumentation

Solo marimba
Piccolo
Flute I-II-III-IV (II, III and IV double Piccolo)
Oboe I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
Contrabassoon
Eb Soprano Clarinet
Bb Soprano Clarinet I-II-III-IV
Bb Bass Clarinet
Eb Alto Saxophone I-II
Bb Tenor Saxophone
Eb Baritone Saxophone
Bb Trumpet I-II-III-IV (I doubles Piccolo Trumpet in Bb)
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Bass Trombone
Euphonium
Tuba
Piano
Timpani
Percussion I-II-III-IV-V-VI, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crotales
  • Cymbals (Orchestral Cymbals, Suspended Crash Cymbals, 2 Ride Cymbals, Sizzle Cymbal)
  • Glockenspiel
  • Snare Drum
  • Tambourine
  • 3 Triangles
  • Vibraphone
  • Wood Block
  • Xylophone


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

In Michael Pollan’s popular book The Omnivore’s Dilemma, the author describes carbon as “supplying life’s quantity, since it is the main structural element in living matter,” and nitrogen as “supplying life’s quality,” since it is the essential ingredient in amino acids, proteins and nucleic acids. I particularly enjoyed his turn of phrase when he wrote “the genetic information that orders and perpetuates life is written in nitrogen ink,” and it also reminded me of some artwork by Hannah Burr, in which faint landscapes are inscribed on fragile leaves of carbon paper.

The titles of the first three movements were extracted and loosely adapted from lines of The Human Genome: Poems On The Book of Life by Gillian K. Ferguson and the third movement’s title, On the fabric of the human body, is the translated name of a landmark text on human anatomy, Andreas Vesalius’ De humani corporis fabrica (1543). This book, a copy of which I inherited from my father, features intricately detailed illustrations of human dissections set in allegorical poses and settings. Together, the movement titles form a small poem.

The music was composed freely, without attempts to “pictorialize” its topic. Instead, it takes as its overall approach the concept of “inscription,” with instrumental layers etching impressions on one another. The solo marimba, in particular, imprints upon the rest by triggering notes of the accompaniment that extend the marimba’s notes through sustaining, echoing, and forming cascading trails.

- Program Note by composer


Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


Recent Performances

To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of Minnesota Duluth Wind Ensemble at the MMEA Conference (Mark Whitlock, conductor, Gene Koshinski, marimba) - 16 February 2017
  • South Dakota State University Symphonic Band (Jacob Wallace, conductor, Aaron Ragsdale, marimba) - 10 February 2017
  • Liberty University Wind Symphony (Stephen Kerr, conductor; Tyler Loftin, marimba) - 28 April 2016
  • Illinois State University (Normal) Wind Symphony (Martin H. Seggelke, conductor; Ben Stiers, marimba) - 24 April 2016
  • Troy University Symphony Band (T. Adam Blackstock, marimba; Mark Walker, conductor) - 4 February 2016
  • Colorado State University Wind Symphony (Eric Hollenbeck, marimba; Rebecca Phillips, conductor) - 11 December 2015
  • Rowan University Wind Ensemble at Rowan University (Matthew Witten, marimba; Bruce Yurko, conductor) - 3 May 2015
  • West Chester University Wind Ensemble at West Chester University (Phillip O'Banion, marimba; Andrew Yozviak, conductor) - 7 December 2014
  • University of Central Florida Wind Ensemble at the University of Central Florida (Thad Anderson, marimba; Scott Weiss, conductor) - 6 November 2014
  • Temple University Wind Ensemble at Temple University (Phillip O'Banion, marimba; Emily Threinen, conductor) - 1 May 2014
  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln Wind Ensemble at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (David Hall, marimba; Tony Falcone, conductor) - 4 December 2013
  • University of South Carolina Wind Ensemble at the University of South Carolina (Scott Herring, marimba; Scott Weiss, conductor) - 29 October 2013

Works for Winds by this Composer


Additional Resources