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Drifting

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Aaron Perrine

Aaron Perrine


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Subtitle: A Concerto for Euphonium


General Info

Year: 2022
Duration: c. 12:30
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Unknown
Cost: Score and Parts - Unknown


Movements

Four


Instrumentation

(Needed - please join the WRP if you can help.)


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

Aaron Perrine's Euphonium Concerto Drifting is the product of a commission consortium begun in 2020. Premiered in March of 2022, the piece is inspired by the North Shore of Lake Superior and the composer's close connection to that area.

The piece is also evocative of a Mary Oliver poem by the same name, that reads:

I was enjoying everything: the rain, the path
wherever it was taking me, the earth roots
beginning to stir.
I didn't intend to start thinking about God,
it just happened.

How God, or the gods, are invisible,
quite understandable.
But holiness is visible, entirely.
It's wonderful to walk along like that,
Thought not the usual intention to reach an answer
but merely drifting.
Like clouds that only seem weightless
but of course are not.
Are really important.
I mean, terribly important.
Not decoration by any means.
By next week the violets will be blooming.
Anyway, this my delicious walk in the rain.
What was it actually about?
Think about what it is that music is trying to say.
It was something like that.

- Program Note from Northern Illinois University Wind Ensemble concert program, 20 May 2022


I am deeply grateful to the consortium sponsors who funded the creation of this music. Douglas Ruby made the initial donation after a conversation at the 28th Annual U.S. Army Band Tuba- Euphonium Conference in Washington, DC in 2011. Bill Petersen and the band from Freeport High School joined Douglas as the other primary sponsor of this project. Many others joined in as well. The composition was completed in the summer of 2012.

The music was inspired by the musical prowess of Dr. Demondrae Thurman, one of the greatest euphonium soloists and chamber musicians of our time. The first movement was written to show off his remarkable range and technique, couched in a setting of harmonic and rhythmic unrest. The contrasting modal theme of this movement was inspired by my daughter Rhea, who at the age of six made up fragments of this melody while in the back seat of the car serenading her favorite blanket.

The second movement was inspired by two French-Canadian lullabies that Demondrae’s wife sang to his two children when they were small. The first, Fais Do do, might be sung by an older sibling rocking a baby to sleep while describing the household routine of the two parents. The lovely melody matches the poignant scene of home and family that it describes. The second, Do Do, l”enfant do, primarily urges the child to go to sleep, interspersed with some nonsense lyrics describing farm and neighborhood. Each lullaby is stated separately by the euphonium, then superimposed over each other by the soloist and band.

The third movement is a traditional rendition of Deep River, based on Demondrae’s adaptation of this wonderful spiritual as performed on his compact disc Songs of a Wayfarer. By all means, listen to the warmth of sound and beautiful phrasing Demondrae pours into this incredible song that pleads for the comfort of a heart that is “over Jordan”, referring to the ultimate salvation and resting place in eternity. To get an even better sense of the emotional depth and fervency of this powerful piece of music, watch a video of Marian Anderson or Mahalia Jackson singing this song.

The final movement turns the longing portrayed in the traditional version of Deep River into a triumphant fanfare by moving to a major key, an energetic tempo, and adding a festive twist to the melodic rhythm of the song. An abbreviated return of the thematic material of the first movement leads to a final cadenza followed by a final triumphant statement of the Deep River theme.

- Program Note by composer


Media

None discovered thus far.


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


Performances

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Works for Winds by this Composer

Adaptable Music


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