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Alchemy in Silent Spaces

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Steven Bryant

Steven Bryant

General Info

Year: 2001
Duration: c. 19:20
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Steven Bryant
Cost: Score and Parts - $400.00 (rental)   |   Score Only - $90.00


1. the logic of all my dreams – 7:50
2. points of attraction – 5:12
3. the still point of destruction – 4:42


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

  • Bass Drum
  • Chimes
  • Crotales
  • Glockenspiel
  • Marimba
  • Mark Tree
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tam-Tam
  • Vibraphone
  • Xylophone


In parts, Movement 1:

  • Horn in F, m.123-end: REMOVE. Ending should be Clarinets, Piano, Mar. ONLY. Contrabass is your call – if it blends well, keep it, if not, feel free to remove it as well.
  • Euphonium, m.123-end: Remove.
  • Tuba, m.123-end: Remove.
  • Vibraphone, m. 2,3,4,6,7,9,10,12,14,15,17,18,19 (half note), 21, 23,24(half note), 25, 26, 28, 29, 30 (half note): Remove the Vibraphone whole notes (“F”)
  • Harp, m.33-35: remove the Harp. If the Vibes and Piano cannot play the lick together, then feel free to cut the Vibes as well. Piano should dominate, regardless.

Program Notes

This is a large-scale three-movement piece, with the first and third movements existing as modular works, available for performance separately. The first movement is drawn from music I wrote as an undergraduate while studying with William Francis McBeth. The opening is sparse, utilizing mallet percussion, harp, and piano to create a floating sense of timelessness. This gradually builds over several minutes, ultimately launching itself into a grandiose, warm, harmonically consonant blanket of sound, after which it concludes with a single chord repeated four times at pianissimo. The music is for the most part delicate and quiet, relying on silence and space to create drama, rather than the relentless rhythmic energy common to many of my other works.

The second movement opens with solo flute, built from a melodic motive from movement I. The music again opens slowly, gradually gaining momentum, but at a faster pace than in the first movement. The music spirals upward and outward, but instead of reaching a plateau, winds itself out and comes to a grinding halt in the upper range of the ensemble. Five brief, solemn chords conclude the movement, which immediately erupts into the still point of destruction.

The third movement is built from an intervallic construction found in the first two. The music is of unceasing, but also unsettling, motion, propelled by a driving ostinato which is repeatedly interrupted by bittersweet moments of lyricism, all the while pushing toward an unforgiving climax.

There is no explicit narrative to the piece, though many particular elements do have personal quasi-biographical significance. Ultimately, this is music of both personal and musical transformation.

- Program Note by composer


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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