This World Alive

From Wind Repertory Project
Steve Danyew

Steve Danyew

Subtitle: For Wind Ensemble & Film

General Info

Year: 2013
Duration: c. 15:00
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Steve Danyew
Cost: Score, Parts and film DVD - $450.00   |   Score Only (print) - $85.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II-III
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
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-II-III-IV-V

  • Bass Drum
  • Chimes
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Crotales
  • Marimba
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tam-Tam (2)
  • Tenor Drum (3)
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

A few years ago, good friends of mine left me a number of large items that they didn’t want to move with them out of state. Among those items were two framed Ansel Adams prints -- striking black and white landscapes which captivated me. This was my first experience with Ansel Adams, and after learning more about the famed photographer and his work, I realized that he represented the kind of artist that I strive to be. He greatly valued his artistic process and craftsmanship, but ultimately his tools and craft were a means to capture the beauty in the world.

The music in this piece ranges from very quiet and serene to bold and powerful, which mirrors my interpretation of much of Ansel’s work. Within his photographs, there is often an incredible beauty captured but also a sense of great power and strength. Our natural environment is filled with this dichotomy, and it is a concept I enjoy incorporating into music. The first three notes of the piece (C, D, B) represent an important unifying motive, which I develop throughout the work. In addition, I layer and develop a number of motives and instrumental colors through multiple sections to tie the whole work together.

The film, produced by filmmaker Cuyler Bryant, also incorporates this concept of layering and developing motives. Cuyler, a longtime friend and colleague, brought a wonderful vision and visual creativity to this project. When we first began discussing ideas for the project, I showed him the 200+ photographs from the early 1940s that Ansel Adams produced for the U.S. government. We agreed that we would use these photographs as the inspiration for the project; aside from that, I wanted to leave the 15-minute film to Cuyler’s creativity. He came up with a wonderful plan for incorporating Ansel’s photographs in many intriguing ways, presented within the context of Cuyler’s original filming and artistry. In October 2012, Cuyler decided to visit the Grand Canyon to take footage and gather inspiration for the project. The final product is a masterful combination of Cuyler’s original work and Ansel’s iconic photographs.

In terms of our collaborative process, Cuyler and I talked frequently throughout the 2012 year regarding many details of the project including the tone, structure, and logistics of keeping the music and film somewhat in sync. Throughout the summer and fall of 2012, I wrote the music and Cuyler gathered footage for the film. As we moved deeper into the creation of the work, I sent sections of the music to Cuyler and he began crafting a visual counterpart. Once Cuyler had the complete score, he created his final edit and sent me a copy, and I watched his captivating footage for the first time. Together, we reviewed the final product and made a few adjustments to bring the work to where it is today.

The title of this work is inspired by a quote by Ansel Adams, which seems to perfectly sum up the vision and inspiration for this project:

“The whole world is, to me, very much ‘alive’ — all the little growing things, even the rocks. I can’t look at a swell bit of grass and earth, for instance, without feeling the essential life — the things going on within them. The same goes for a mountain, or a bit of the ocean, or a magnificent piece of old wood.”

- Program Note by composer

Commissioned by a consortium of Wind Ensembles led by Timothy Shade, director of the Bethel College Wind Ensemble.

- Program Note from score


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of South Carolina (Columbia) Symphonic Winds (Jay Jacobs, conductor) - 20 November 2023
  • University of Delaware (Newark) Wind Ensemble (Lauren Reynolds, conductor) – 6 December 2022
  • Pittsburg (Kan.) State University Wind Ensemble (Andrew Chybowski, conductor) - 23 September 2021
  • Florida International University (Miami) Wind Ensemble (Brenton F. Alston, conductor) – 3 October 2018
  • University of Cincinnati (Ohio) College-Conservatory of Music Wind Ensemble (Rob Stull, conductor) – 1 March 2018
  • University of Miami (Fla.) Frost Wind Ensemble (Robert Carnochan, conductor) – 18 February 2016
  • Nazareth College Wind Symphony (Jared Chase, conductor) - 2014

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works