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Asphyxiating sky

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Stephen Ryan Jackson

Stephen Ryan Jackson


The title of this work is intentionally written in lower case: asphyxiating sky.


General Info

Year: 2020
Duration: c. 9:00
Original Medium: Concert Band
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Stephen Ryan Jackson
Cost: Score and Parts - Unknown


Instrumentation

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

  • Bass Drum
  • Brake Drum
  • China Cymbal
  • Crotales (or Glockenspiel)
  • Fretted String Instrument
  • Gong (3)
  • Mixing Bowl (Metal)
  • Tam-Tam
  • Vibraphone
  • Wired String


(Oboe II, Clarinet II & III, Tenor Saxophone, Trumpet II, Horn II, and Trombone II all tuned down 1/4 step)


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

When I was young, I would visit my great-grandfather in hospice and he would entertain me with stories of his experiences during World War I. One story that often stands out in my mind is one of his accounts of fighting in the trenches, where they first came into contact with mustard gas being used as a weapon. Despite being mostly incoherent due to the drugs to keep him comfortable, he was incredibly lucid during his recount of the fear and helplessness of not being able to breathe.

The musical material of asphyxiating sky is based on three WWI-era songs: I Didn't Raise My Boy to Be a Soldier, The Rose of No Man's Land, and I May Be Gone for a Long, Long Time. After taking original recordings of these songs, I layered, time-stretched, and distorted them to create a sonic manifestation of a mustard gas cloud. The ensemble functions as a living, breathing cloud of sound that is unrecognizable from its source, yet spiritually connected.

asphyxiating sky seeks to recreate the physical and emotional sensations of fading memories, past fears, and the horrors that humanity has and continues to inflict on itself

- Program Note by composer


Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.

Media


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


Performances

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Works for Winds by this Composer


Resources