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Intermountain Underground

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Benjamin D. Taylor

Benjamin Dean Taylor

General Info

Year: 2020
Duration: c. 3:30
Difficulty: III (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Benjamin Taylor Music
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $95.00; (digital) - $75.00

Instrumentation (Flexible)

Full Score
Part 1

  • Flute
  • Oboe
  • B-flat Soprano Clarinet
  • E-flat Alto Saxophone (optional)
  • B-flat Trumpet
  • Violin

Part 2

  • B-flat Soprano Clarinet
  • E-flat Alto Saxophone
  • B-flat Trumpet
  • Horn in F
  • Violin
  • Viola

Part 3

  • Bassoon
  • B-flat Tenor Saxophone
  • Trombone
  • Euphonium
  • Cello

Part 4

  • Bassoon
  • B-flat Bass Clarinet
  • E-flat Baritone Saxophone
  • Trombone
  • Euphonium
  • Tuba
  • Double Bass

Percussion (min. 2 players), including:

  • Bass Drum
  • China Cymbal
  • Glockenspiel
  • Low Tom
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Triangle
  • Xylophone

Electronic audio track


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

There you are sitting in ensemble rehearsal and suddenly the ground starts shaking violently. With a thunderous explosion, a large underground transport vehicle the size of a cargo van with a huge drill on the front emerges through the floor. Everyone in the ensemble watches in frozen astonishment as the vehicle hisses and opens up a side panel door. A hunched human-like creature with abnormally large eyes stands in front of a DJ table and begins to spin a track as a way of introducing himself and his underground civilization.

At first the music of his race sounds unfamiliar since it has evolved separate from music of the surface humans for the last several hundred years. But slowly the off-kilter groove in 13/4 time gets your foot tapping, and the melodies from the superlocrian scale sound fresh and interesting, and before you know it, you are not only playing along, but stepping into the underground RV and heading down the tunnel to a subterranean dance club! You and all your ensemble friends quickly meld your music into the pulsating rhythms to celebrate with your newfound underground friends!

This work was a true collaboration with the students of Intermountain Christian School (Salt Lake City, Utah). The seed for the idea of the piece came from this picture [of a hole dug right in the middle of a school hallway]. It was sent from band director Nathan Hope, with the text, “I drove over to the school this afternoon... turns out something catastrophic happened and there’s no power or water. This is the main hallway in the school.” (It turns out workers had to cut into the floor and dig down to repair a broken pipe.)

Looking at that hole, it is easy to imagine it leading into some vast underground cave system. The students and I thought about what it would be like to find out that an entire civilization had been living underneath the city for hundreds of years, completely cut off and separate from the “surface” society. What would their music sound like? How might it be different than our western classical music tradition? I am truly grateful to Nathan Hope and his students for their inspiring musical ideas as well as the creative story they helped me shape behind Intermountain Underground.

Commissioned by the Intermountain Christian School Symphonic Band, Nathan Hope, director.

- Program Note by composer


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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