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Perseids

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Alexandra Gardner

Alexandra Gardner


General Info

Year: 2015
Duration: c. 7:15
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Murphy Music Press
Cost: Score and Parts (digital) - $195.00   |   Score Only (digital) - $35.00


Instrumentation

Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II-III (I doubling Piccolo)
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
Contrabassoon
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III-IV
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
Tuba
String Bass
Celeste
Timpani
Percussion (6 players), including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bongos (pair)
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Floor Tom
  • Glockenspiel
  • Hi-Hat
  • Marimba
  • Shaker (large)
  • Sizzle Cymbal
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal (large)
  • Tam-tam
  • Tom-toms (3)
  • Triangle (medium)
  • Vibraphone
  • Wood Block
  • Xylophone


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

The Perseids are a meteor shower visible in the Northern Hemisphere during the months of July and August. Each year at that time, the earth passes through a cloud of debris left from the Comet Swift-Tuttle, creating a prolific display of natural fireworks as the rubble enters the earth’s atmosphere and burns through the sky. For the past several years, a group of friends and I have taken a summertime trip to Ocracoke Island in North Carolina, where we spend hours every night watching this natural display of fireworks from a crow’s nest deck. Far from city lights, it is possible to see deeply into the night sky, which is punctuated by “shooting stars” from every direction.

I am fascinated by the idea of the sky as time machine -- that most of what we are seeing is infinitely old, because the light from those stars has been traveling for eons. By the time it reaches our eyes, the star may have transformed completely, or it might not exist at all. Perhaps this is why the fleeting sight of a meteor feels like a special event: it is science of the present moment.

The music of Perseids draws upon experiences of those nighttime sky-watching sessions -- the glowing band of the Milky Way, pulsing satellites moving quickly across the sky, constellations and layers of clouds, and of course, plenty of shooting stars. Beginning with slow, overlapping layers of sound underneath a melody that works its way through the wind instruments, the music gradually coalesces into a vigorous, celebratory verse-chorus song structure.

- Program Note by composer


Media


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


Performances

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Works for Winds by This Composer


Resources