Acts of Congress

From Wind Repertory Project
Ryan George

Ryan George


Subtitle: Suite for Symphonic Winds and Percussion


General Info

Year: 2020
Duration: c. 13:35
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Fornine Music
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $225.00   |   Score Only (print) - $75.00


Movements

1. The Bats of Ladybird – 3:35
2. Uncommon Objects - 2:25
3. I Love You So Much - 4:05
4. Willie for President – 3:05


Instrumentation

Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
Contrabassoon
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass 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
Euphonium
Tuba
String Bass
Timpani
Percussion I-II-III-IV-V, including:

  • Bass Drum (Concert)
  • Brake Drum
  • China Cymbals (Large)
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Crotales
  • Drum Set
    • China Cymbal
    • Crash Cymbal
    • Hi-Hat
    • Kick Bass Drum
    • Ride Cymbal
    • Splash Cymbal
    • Tambourine (mounted)
  • Glockenspiel
  • Guiro
  • Marimba
  • Mixing Bowls (4, stainless steel)
  • Orchestra Bells
  • Snare Drum (Concert)
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tam-tam
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone
  • Vibra-slap
  • Wind Chimes
  • Wine Glasses (3)
  • Wood Block
  • Xylophone


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

Congress Avenue strikes north up from the feet of Austin, Texas. It then crosses over Lady Bird Lake, splitting downtown in half before coming to a rest in the lap of the Texas State Capital building. The stretch of the avenue south of the lake, known as South Congress, is lined with shops, taco bars, hotels, tattoo parlors, live-music venues, and restaurants. It is a main artery of the city and serves as a cultural nerve center for all things Austin.

In the 17 years that my family and I have lived here this street has become a favorite jaunt of ours. And though this place has grown and evolved rapidly over the years the charm, soul, and uniqueness found in its roots still hold true … for the time being anyway. It is in the occurrences, locations, graffiti, and wall art located along Congress Avenue that this suite finds its inspiration.

1. The Bats of Ladybird. Hovering over Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin is the Congress Avenue Bridge. From March to early October, this bridge becomes home to the largest urban bat colony in North America due to its unique honeycomb underbelly that is the perfect size for the 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats to reside in every year. Around twilight these bats slowly begin to stir and awake from their midday slumber. What starts as a slow trickle eventually turns into a flood as hundreds of thousands of bats stream from their nests out into the night sky to feed on roughly 15 tons of central Texas insects. To the many locals and tourist who witness this exodus, it is one of nature’s most impressive spectacles. This movement imagines a young bat, who find themselves caught up in the pageantry, chase, and excitement of this nightly ritual. In a nod to the bat’s origins the piece pulls some from rhythms and colors found in Mexican folk music.

2. Uncommon Objects. In the middle of South Congress, there used to sit an antique store called Uncommon Objects (the store has since moved to a new location). To call it an antique store, however, doesn’t quite do it justice. It’s an emporium of transcendent junk, an odd collection of both practical objects and nostalgic trinkets. Uncommon Objects was once described as “your eccentric uncle’s attic on steroids.” To me this store is a beautiful visual representation of the unique collection of people and communities that populate Austin as well as Austin’s affinity for the quirky and different. “Keep Austin Weird” is the city’s slogan after all. Uncommon Objects explores what would happen if one were to walk into this store with a pair of sticks and begin using the random items found throughout as a kind of warehouse-sized drum-set. This movement focuses on the percussion section and utilizes glass, metal, and wood sounds set within octatonic melodic motifs and the ‘uncommon’ time signature of 7/8. *

3. I Love You So Much. In 2010, local musician Amy Cook took a can of red spray paint and scripted the words “I Love You So Much” on the side of Jo’s Coffee Shop. This simple love letter, written to her partner Liz Lambert who owns Jo’s, has since become a popular viral location for many who seek to take their pictures in front of the wall with friends, family, and lovers alike. This movement is a lyrical snapshot of those thousands of relationships that have been captured by camera in front of this wall.

4. Willie for President. In 1991 Austin was dubbed the “Live Music Capital of the World” after it was discovered that it had more live music venues per-capita than anywhere else in the nation. While the city’s growth has altered that statistic over the years, the moniker has stuck around due to the city's voracious appetite for all things music. "Willie for President "is a mural painted on the side of a clothing store that pays homage to the patron saint of Austin’s music scene, Willie Nelson. This final movement tips the hat to Nelson as well as other “outlaw” rockers and singers like Stevie Ray Vaughn, Janice Joplin, and Gary Clark Jr. who have lived here and graced Austin stages over the last several decades. It also draws on the energy and passion I’ve experienced over the years following my wife around as she helps produce the massive Austin City Limits Music Festival here every fall. This movement is dedicated to her.

- Program Note by composer


Media


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


Performances

To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Wichita (Kans.) State Wind Ensemble (Timothy Shade, conductor) - 14 September 2023
  • Normal (Ill.) West High School Wind Ensemble (Ryan Budzinski, conductor) - 5 April 2023
  • Vandegrift High School (Austin, Tx.) Wind Ensemble (Mike Howard, conductor) - 17 December 2021 (2021 Midwest Clinic)
  • James Bowie High School (Austin, Tx.) Wind Ensemble (Garth Gunderson, conductor) - 20 November 2021
  • Texas Christian University (Fort Worth) Wind Symphony (Bobby Francis, conductor) - 29 April 2021
  • James Bowie High School Band (Austin, Tx.) – 7 March 2020 *Premiere Performance*


Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

  • Autobahn (Flex instrumentation) (2008/2020)
  • Café 512 (Flex instrumentation) (2010/2020)
  • Jinx (Flex instrumentation) (2017/2020)


All Wind Works


Resources