Meditation at Lagunitas

From Wind Repertory Project
Paul Dooley

Paul Dooley

General Info

Year: 2014
Duration: c. 8:10
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Murphy Music Press
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $250.00   |   Score Only (print) - $50.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat or C 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
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Chimes
  • Crotales
  • Finger Cymbals
  • Glockenspiel
  • Marimba
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Triangle, small
  • Vibraphone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Meditation at Lagunitas (2014) for wind ensemble was commissioned by The American Bandmasters Association (ABA) and the University of Florida, and premiered by the University of Alabama Wind Ensemble, conducted by Dr. Rick Good, at the 2014 ABA Annual Convention in Montgomery, Alabama.

This work is inspired by Robert Hass' transcendental poem Meditation at Lagunitas. The poem is a philosophical discussion, examining the significance of words. Hass is continuously meditating on words as ideas, stirring recollections of images, scents, memories, love, lust, joy and friendship. In the unique kaleidoscope of an individual word, such as “blackberry,” I saw both clarity and abstraction. Musically, this inspired an unfolding theme that began with a heroic statement in the brass that, by dissolving harmonic, registral, rhythmic and timbral variations, became the “clarity of a general idea” of some unknown and beautiful word.

Meditation at Lagunitas
by Robert Hass

All the new thinking is about loss.
In this it resembles all the old thinking.
The idea, for example, that each particular erases
the luminous clarity of a general idea. That the clown-
faced woodpecker probing the dead sculpted trunk
of that black birch is, by his presence,
some tragic falling off from a first world
of undivided light. Or the other notion that,
because there is in this world no one thing
to which the bramble of blackberry corresponds,
a word is elegy to what it signifies.
We talked about it late last night and in the voice
of my friend, there was a thin wire of grief, a tone
almost querulous. After a while I understood that,
talking this way, everything dissolves: justice,
pine, hair, woman, you and I. There was a woman
I made love to and I remembered how, holding
her small shoulders in my hands sometimes,
I felt a violent wonder at her presence
like a thirst for salt, for my childhood river
with its island willows, silly music from the pleasure boat,
muddyplaces where we caught the little orange-silver fish
called pumpkinseed. It hardly had to do with her.
Longing, we say, because desire is full
of endless distances. I must have been the same to her.
But I remember so much, the way her hands dismantled bread,
the thing her father said that hurt her, what
she dreamed. There are moments when the body is as numinous
as words, days that are the good flesh continuing.
Such tenderness, those afternoons and evenings,
saying blackberry, blackberry, blackberry.

- Program Note by composer

While this piece is complex in regard to construction, reading and understanding Hass's poem from four perspectives will illuminate the composer's impetus and aid the conductor and performers in synthesis, interpretation and performance: 1) word meaning is more significant than word sounds, 2) imagery, derived from word meaning, is found within a "kaleidoscope of each individual word," 3) every element is critical to the whole; nothing can be missing, and 4) "Robert Hass is the poetic-equivalent of John Adams."

- Program Note from Teaching Music through Performance in Bad


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of Evansville (Ind.) Wind Ensemble (Kenneth Steinsultz, conductor) - 28 February 2023
  • Wichita (Kan.) State University Wind Ensemble (Timothy Shade, conductor) – 1 April 2022 (CBDNA 2022 Southwestern Conference, Waco, Tx.)
  • Sonoma State University (Rohnert Park, Calif.) Wind Ensemble (Andy Collinsworth, conductor) – 8 March 2019
  • Baylor University (Waco, Texas) Symphonic Band (Isaiah Odajima, conductor) – 4 March 2019
  • University of Cincinnati (Ohio) College-Conservatory of Music Wind Ensemble (Thomas Gamboa, conductor) – 25 September 2018
  • University of Oklahoma (Norman) Wind Symphony (William Wakefield, conductor) – 16 April 2018
  • James Madison University (Harrisonburg, Va.) Symphonic Band (Stephen Bolstad, conductor) – 4 April 2018
  • University of Florida (Gainesville) Wind Symphony (David Waybright, conductor)] – 2 February 2017
  • University of Michigan Concert Band (Courtney Snyder, conductor) - 13 April 2015
  • University of Texas Wind Symphony (Steven Knight, conductor) – 7 April 2015
  • University of North Texas Wind Symphony (Eugene Migliaro Corporon, conductor) - 6 November 2014
  • Illinois State University (Normal) Symphonic Winds (Dan Belongia, conductor) - 5 October 2014
  • California State University, Long Beach, Wind Symphony (John Carnahan, conductor) - 1 May 2014
  • University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa) Wind Ensemble (Richard Good, conductor) - 5 March 2014 (ABA 2014 Annual Convention (Montgomery, Alabama)) - *Premiere Performance*

Works for Winds by This Composer