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Raindrops in an endless sea of stars

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Josh Trentadue

Josh Trentadue


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


General Info

Year: 2020
Duration: c. 5:00-12:00
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: M.O.T.I.F.
Cost: Score and Parts (digital) - $75.00


Instrumentation (Adaptable Ensemble)

The following is a suggested instrumentation from the composer to present an idea of what instrumental combinations could be used.

Full Score
Part I: Winds
Aerophones

  • Flutes (C Flute, Alto, Bass, etc.)
  • Piccolo
  • Penny Whistle
  • Recorders (Sopranino, Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass)
  • Ocarina

Reeds

  • Clarinets (Eb, Bb, A, Bass, Contrabass, etc.)
  • Saxophones (Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Baritone, Bass, etc.)

Double Reeds

  • Oboe
  • English Horn
  • Bassoon
  • Contrabassoon

Part II: Brass
Group 1

  • Horn (F)
  • Wagner Tuba (Bb)
  • Trumpets (Bb, C, etc.)

Group 2

  • Trombones (Alto, Tenor, Bass, Contrabass, etc.)
  • Euphoniums (T.C., B.C., etc.)
  • Tuba

Part III: Strings
Solo section, or a full section, may be used. Electric strings are encouraged if available.

  • Violin
  • Viola
  • Violoncello
  • Double Bass

Part IV: Keys+Strings
Group 1

  • Piano
  • Celesta
  • Toy Piano
  • Keyboard Synthesizer

Group 2

  • Harp
  • Acoustic and/or Electric Guitar

PartV: Percussion
Metals

  • Glockenspiel
  • Vibraphone
  • Crotales
  • Chimes
  • Bell Lyre

Woods + other suggestions

  • Xylophone
  • Marimba
  • Xylorimba
  • Almglocken/Tuned Cowbells
  • Steel Pan/Steel Drums

Cymbals

  • Suspended
  • Sizzle
  • China
  • Tam-Tam (any size; superball mallet required)
  • Gong (any size; superball mallet required)

Fixed Media Electronics (optional)

Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

It's not often for me that a title comes before any musical or conceptual ideas. Raindrops in an endless sea of stars, however, is one of those exceptions.

For a number of reasons, I started meditating earlier this year, something which I found made an overall positive impact on my personal mental health. Meditation became the primary basis for this piece's overall conceptual ideas. There are specifically two points of inspiration -- ideas contrasted from each other on a realistic level, yet I believe are connected on a spiritual level (if one believes in the concept).

I have always been fond of outer space -- the endless, infinite depths of stars and comets and planets all out there, some known to humanity and billions more unknown. I have always been fond of the wide-ranging phenomena and colors that can sometimes be found, such as the aurora lights or solar flares. Sometimes, when I meditate, I think of such things and can often, at times, visualize those calm and peaceful moments that can be witnessed, as if stargazing for something new and unknown.

The other source of inspiration comes from a specific meditative practice. This piece was written while I began composing my first symphony. One of my collaborators for that project is a certified sound healing practitioner and introduced me to this practice, something therapeutic in nature which seeks to restore harmony and balance to one's life through the use of resonant vibrations. A tension and stress reducer, sound healing seriously intrigued me from a compositional standpoint -- it offered a sandbox of possibilities in demonstrating how music can be used to heal.

Raindrops in an endless sea of stars is thus intended to create a sense of both meditative, spiritual healing and wonder. This is a fully flexible work, in which any combination of instruments or ensembles can be used for performance. Freely suspended in time and space (for the performers, there is no specific meter that they follow), the piece is mainly driven by a plethora of extended techniques conjuring up sounds such as wind blowing through the air, sparse and twinkling stars, various murmurs and flutters, and so on.

Regarding the meditative aspects, the piece does not specifically seek to create an authentic sound healing session (my symphony will instead do this). However, some of the core ideas of this practice loosely inspired the work's structure and form. For example, fully resonant chords (created by flowing and improvised arpeggiated patterns) often verge on bitonality between various parts, creating tension and stress, only to find peace and tranquility when resolved to a brilliant, unified tonality.

​As for the title? Imagine stars twinkling in the nighttime sky, offering an enticing and limitless universe of possibilities, spiritual healing, and hope.

- Program Note by composer


Performance Notes

This is a cellular, minimalist piece focusing specifically on aleatoric elements and extended techniques. Each of the five parts has been further divided into several groups for these purposes. Any of the groups/staves within these parts may be omitted if unavailable. Parts III, IV, and/or V may be omitted if necessary

The cells of music are divided into events, with bar numbers given to indicate the start of each new event. These events are further divided into cues (example: the first bar/event consists of three cues, with the first cue lasting approximately 10-15 seconds). Performance of this work is intended to move linearly from start to finish. All music in each event/cue is to be repeated freely until the next event/cue is given by the conductor.

There are two optional fixed-media electronic tracks provided -- either of them, or both, may be used. If multiple players are covering a specific group within their part, the players are encouraged to play asynchronously as much as possible. If Parts I and II (winds and brass) are only used, you may skip moments of silence as needed to facilitate the performance.

The score is in C. Octave transpositions to all instruments which require them. Standard transposed parts are provided -- additional transpositions are available directly from the composer upon request.


Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.


Media

None discovered thus far.


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


Performances

None discovered thus far.


Works for Winds by this Composer

Adaptable Music


All Wind Works


Resources