1. Locomotive – 4:35
2. Gothic – 2:05
3. At Peace – 4:15
4. Mercurial, with Great Precision – 4:50
Flute I-II-III-IV-V-VI (I-II double piccolo)
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III-IV-V-VI
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-V-VI
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
(percussion detail needed)
None discovered thus far.
Four Factories (2006) was written for the University of North Carolina at Greensboro Wind Symphony, under the direction of conductors John R. Locke and Kevin M. Geraldi. The work represents the most ambitious writing to date for band by the composer.
The idea to write a piece evoking the sense of factories or large generators came a while back when I was reading The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. Coincidentally, I was reading a biography of George Antheil (composer of Ballet Méchanique) at the same time. It occurred to me that it might be a rewarding experience to write a symphonic work called Man’s Greatest Achievement (or some such grandiose title) depicting three or four of the world’s highest sky scrapers (a nod to the architect-hero Howard Roark from Rand’s novel). At that time, however, I turned to writing a single-movement orchestral scherzo about downhill skiing called SLALOM (which itself became a work for wind symphony later on).
The four movements of the work are not pointing to any specific structures or buildings. They are explorations in motorized color-palettes. Each movement is treated like its own canvas or grid on which sound-color is painted. There is no dramatic program that develops through time from movement to movement.
I. Locomotive. The most minimal in style, this movement presents a large imaginary factory generator. Once the power finally gets revved up and humming, the factory comes to life in a particularly bright orchestration of F major. This might be some kind of candy factory.
II. Gothic. Set staunchly in a very baroque B minor, this obstinate motor is maintained primarily by the low winds and piano. The high winds and brass repeat melodic descants over the gurgling. Near the center of this short movement comes a very pop-influenced jam led by an explosive cowbell. The movement ends suddenly with a last shrill gasp from the trombones.
III. At Peace. The engine under this song for band is carried by the clarinets from the very beginning. This undulating grid provides harmonic support for the soaring melodies from the flutes and oboes. A big moment of anthem-like heroism shines through, giving way to the song again. Just before the conclusion of the movement the clarinets break out of motoric submission and come joyously to the fore (seven heralding clarinets).
IV. Mercurial, with Great Precision. As the tempo marking indicates, this last factory requires the utmost technical precision from the entire band. At times both bold and fleetingly articulate, Mahlerian sweeps find themselves right next to big-band swings. The coda is an all-out scherzo brilliante, marrying the two primary motives of the movement. The most bravado is pulled out of the band here than anywhere else in the work. The generator returns at the end, rusting away to an abrupt silence.
- Program Note by composer
- Audio CD: University of Florida Wind Symphony (David A. Waybright, conductor) - 2009
None discovered thus far.
To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project
- University of Florida (Gainesville) Wind Symphony (David Waybright, conductor) – 29 October 2019
- Baylor University (Waco, Texas) Wind Ensemble (Eric Wilson, conductor) – 24 April 2017
- University of Illinois (Champaign) Wind Symphony (Stephen G. Peterson, conductor) – 2 December 2016
- University of Houston (Texas) Moores School of Music Wind Ensemble (David Bertman, conductor) - 11 February 2016 (2016 TMEA Conference, San Antonio)
Works for Winds by this Composer
- American Child
- At Her Ladyship's Request (2017)
- The Bach Buch (as transcriber) (2011)
- Concerto Logic
- Double Concerto (2019)
- Four Factories (2006)
- High Songs, The (2015)
- Hold This Boy and Listen (2008)
- Labyrinth (2019)
- My Brother's Brain (2011)
- Richard and Renée (2009)
- Serenade for Winds (2009)
- Slalom (2002/2008)
- Spanish Silhouette, A (2010)
- Three Embraces, The (2013)
- The Wranger (2006/2016)
- Carter Pann website.
- Pann C. (2009). Four Factories: For Wind Symphony [score]. T. Presser: King of Prussia, Penn.