I Was Just Looking at the World

From Wind Repertory Project
Aaron Perrine

Aaron Perrine

General Info

Year: 2011
Duration: c. 6:30
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Unpublished
Cost: Unknown


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
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-III
String Bass
Percussion I-VI, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crotales
  • Drum Set
  • Glockenspiel
  • Marimba
  • Sandpaper Blocks
  • Tam-Tam
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Before I began composing this piece, I visited the members of the University of Wisconsin - Superior Symphonic Band -- the band that commissioned the work -- and discussed what living near Lake Superior meant to the students. We also discussed various ways in which the composition might unfold. After returning home with many possibilities, the thing that resonated the most with me was the story of the old diaphone foghorn. For decades, the sound of the foghorn was a fixture for residents of the Duluth Superior area: many found it comforting as well as a source of pride.

In recent years, however, the foghorn became a controversial issue. Some said it disrupted the sleep, while others simply didn't see the need for it due to modern technologies like GPS. In 2006, the foghorn -- the last remaining foghorn of its kind in operation -- was dismantled, eventually being replaced by a much smaller, higher pitched horn some residents not-so-affectionately refer to as a "peanut horn." Like them or not, both foghorns have and will continue to affect the lives of those who live in or visit the Duluth Superior area.

After learning about the history of the foghorns, I knew I wanted a connection between them and the music. What I didn't want, however, was a piece of music that sounded like a foghorn, although some of the residents of the area might have enjoyed that! Instead, I used the computer program called MAX to isolate the upper partials present in the sound of both foghorns. I then used these upper partials as the primary pitch material for the two contrasting styles of music present in the composition, creating a connection (albeit abstract) between the foghorns and the music. In my mind, the partials above the fundamental frequency are similar to a fog over Lake Superior, which is something the students of UW - Superior experience far too often. The title of the work I Was Just Looking at the World, is actually a phrase my three-year-old daughter frequently says when she is looking -- often for the first time -- at something beautiful in nature.

- Program note by composer

Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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