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Even if the Last Bullet Hits My Chest

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Daniel M. Cavanagh

Daniel M. Cavanagh

General Info

Year: 2020
Duration: c. 11:25
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Logman Music, through Murphy Music Press
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $250.00   |   Score Only (print) - $40.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III-IV
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III-IV
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III-IV-V, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Brake Drum
  • Chimes
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Field Drum
  • Glockenspiel
  • Marimba
  • Pipes (3: metal)
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Timpano
  • Tom-Toms (4)
  • Triangle (medium and low)
  • Tubular Bells
  • Vibraphone
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Some number of years ago (2014 or so) I was listening to the BBC World Service on the radio, and through an interpreter, a Yemeni farmer was being interviewed about the civil war there. He said something so profound – “Even if the last bullet hits my chest, we must end this war.” To me hearing that was like a flash of human connection across the globe, from a man I will never know, from a completely different culture. That has stuck with me ever since.

This is a work that considers the patterns of war, hope, and their impact on human beings. This is the second work I’ve written dealing with war. The first was Waves which blessed me with the special judges citation in the American Prize a few years ago in chamber music. In that piece, I directly worked with a Wallace Stevens poem called Dry Loaf which dealt with the large forces, bigger than any one of us, that seem to eat at humanity. They are patterns that repeat. The first two lines in that poem are: "It is equal to living in a tragic land To live in a tragic time." This piece continues on that theme, drawing together Wallace Stevens’ observations about war (they’re almost like Ives’ Unanswered Question druids, all-seeing but not providing answers) and that human connection I felt with the man I’d never meet from the other side of the world.

- Program Note by composer for University of Texas, Arlington, Wind Symphony concert program, 25 February 2022


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Dallas (Tx.) Winds (Jerry Junkin, conductor) - 18 October 2022
  • University of Texas, Arlington, Wind Symphony (Douglas Stotter, conductor) – 25 February 2022 *Premiere Performance*

Works for Winds by This Composer