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Crystal Microphone

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Daniel Montoya Jr

Daniel Montoya Jr


General Info

Year: 2007
Duration: c. 16:15
Difficulty: VII (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Daniel Montoya Jr. Online
Cost: Unknown


Movements

1. Movement I - 5:25
2. Movement II - 5:55
3. Movement III - 4:35


Instrumentation

Movement I

Full Score
Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
Eb Soprano Clarinet
Bb Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
Bb Bass Clarinet
Alto Saxophone I-II
Tenor Saxophone
Baritone Saxophone
Trumpet (in Bb) I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Bass Trombone
Euphonium
Tuba
Timpani
Percussion I-II-III-IV-V-VI-VII, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Bongos
  • Chimes
  • Cowbell
  • Drumset
  • Marimba (4.3)
  • Splash Cymbal
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tam-Tam
  • Tambourine
  • Tom Drum (large)
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone
  • Woodblock
  • Xylophone


Movement II

Full Score
Piccolo
Flute I-II-III
Oboe
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
Eb Soprano Clarinet
Bb Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
Bb Bass Clarinet
Soprano Saxophone
Alto Saxophone
Tenor Saxophone
Baritone Saxophone
Trumpet (in Bb) I-II-III
Horn in F I-II
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
Euphonium
Tuba

Flugelhorn (back-stage)
Flugelhorn (audience/off-stage)
Horn I-II (audience/off-stage)
Euphonium (audience/off-stage)
Trombone (audience/off-stage)

Timpani
Percussion I-II-III-IV-V, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Vibes
  • Marimba (5.0)
  • Ride Cymbal
  • Suspended Cymbal


Movement III

Full Score
Piccolo
Flute I-II-III
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
Eb Soprano Clarinet
Bb Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
Bb Bass Clarinet
Alto Saxophone I-II
Tenor Saxophone
Baritone Saxophone
Trumpet (in Bb) I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Bass Trombone
Euphonium
Tuba
Timpani
Percussion I-II-III-IV-V-VI-VII, including:

  • Bass Drum (concert)
  • Bass Drum (drumset "kick")
  • Bells
  • Bongos
  • Cabasa
  • Chimes
  • China Cymbal
  • Claves
  • Congos
  • Hi-Hat
  • Ice Bell
  • Marimba (4.5)
  • Small Crash Cymbal
  • Snare Drum
  • Splash Cymbal
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tam-Tam
  • Tambourine
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone
  • Xylophone


Program Notes

The three movements of Crystal Microphone, entitled Soundcheck, Acoustics, & Feedback, compile to create a fresh and exciting work for symphonic winds. While each movement can be played independently of the others, it is intended to be performed with all three movements together, totaling 15+ minutes in length. This work is my attempt to capture the aura, attitude, and excitement, of a modern rock concert, using traditional symphonic wind and percussion instruments. Crystal Microphone combines these two genres of music, into one cohesive work, bringing modern pop rhythms and melodies to the forefront, combined with an intricate harmonic structure.


I. Soundcheck The soundcheck serves as a prelude to the actual rock concert, with different sections of the band being showcased as they “check their levels” for the pending performance. Soundcheck opens with the drumset and percussion setting the initial tempo and groove as different instruments enter, gradually adding a new sound and timbre to the group. Finally, once all members have entered, the “song” begins and melody can be heard. This melody returns in between “verses,” and motives from this melody are used as the foundation of the entire movement. Different section features and solos are layered on top of groove and ostinato, with “shout” and “call & response” moments as well. A tuba imitates a bass guitar solo, and an extended low woodwind feature, written to simulate a lead guitar solo, brings the piece to an in your face “jam session” intended to bring the movement to a close, complete with high “guitar squealing” in the flute and piccolo, and a final tutti statement of the main melody.


II. Acoustics A change of pace from the frenzied first movement, Acoustics serves as the “power ballad” of the work. Moments of the piece use the marimba, vibraphone, and woodwinds (playing passages of ostinato and arpeggio) to mimic an acoustic guitar. Additionally, soloists are placed backstage and around the audience, incorporating the acoustics of surround sound, to give this movement’s title a double-meaning. Throughout the piece, these backstage and off-stage musicians play an integral role, including moments where they are the soloists, as well as more controlled, and carefully-notated moments where they are called upon to play in time with the on-stage musicians. The movement begins with tremolo throughout the woodwinds, which builds, to a ripple-roll on marimba combined with a slow-motored roll on vibraphone to create a wavelike effect which leads into a backstage solo. A two-note motif is then presented by the on-stage, backstage, and off-stage musicians. A slow “Doppler-effect” from the off-stage musicians leads the piece to the first statement of the melody. Ostinato and arpeggios then carry the next sections as displaced 8th notes in the percussion provide another acoustic effect. The on-stage musicians then act as “the band”, while the off-stage musicians act as the “audience” to simulate a staple of any rock concert: the sing-along. “Lyrics” bounce back and forth between the stage and audience, until it builds to a unison statement of the melody. This quickly dies away to another “call and answer” and finally, the end of the piece, in which the “audience” finishes the “song.”


III. Feedback The “concert” reaches its climax with the third movement, Feedback, which is fast, loud, and rambunctious. This movement is the actual “rock” song of the entire work, and uses many of the tricks, effects, and cliché’s that rock songs are known for. Tutti hits from the brass and percussion open the movement as the high pitched “feedback” is produced by the woodwinds. Quick 16th notes interject, mimicking a virtuosic guitar feature that eventually takes over the ensemble. After a short down section, the tutti hits and “feedback” return and give way to the melody. Once again, the 16th note “guitar riff” returns, this time in the brass, with more “feedback” in the woodwinds, which then leads to the best part of any good rock song: THE GUITAR SOLO!!! Woodwinds mimic the guitar as constant streams of notes continue to rise higher and higher. Brass and percussion punches accentuate the solo line and its progression, and lead us into full ensemble “power chords” that bring the piece to its climax. After a restatement of the opening hits and “feedback,” the melody is presented again with a metallic and “crystal” timbre, which carries over to a down section led by the brass. A quick “riff” in the brass leads to tutti hits quickly followed by the 16th note “guitar lick” in the woodwinds. Quick descending notes in the mallets, coupled with mutes in the high brass, once again create crystal effect, which is interrupted by unison hits by the band, and rips in the horns. The “concert” draws to a close with the low brass laying down a Led Zeppelin-inspired “rock out” that tests the limits of the speakers as the pitch drops lower and lower and grows muddier and muddier. Finally, the sound system can take no more, as the 16th note “guitar lick” fights to be heard with the “feedback” produced by the high woodwinds, and a deep “growl” from the low brass pedal tones, causing the speakers to blow.


Crystal Microphone is Montoya’s third work for symphonic winds and is dedicated to Christoper Paul and Michael James Howard.

- Program Note by Daniel Montoya Jr.


Awards

  • Atlantic Coast Conference Band Directors Association "Grant for Young and Emerging Wind Band Composers" (2008)


Audio Links


Performances

To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project


Works for Winds by this Composer


Resources