Movements (played without pause)
1. Survival - 1:05
2. Reflection - 2:20
3. Discovery - 2:45
4. Obsession - 2:10
5. Carnevale - 1:20
6. Ascension - 2:20
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Saxophone/E-flat Alto Saxophone I
E-flat Alto Saxophone II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Percussion I-II-III-IV, including:
- Bass Drum
- Crash Cymbals
- Drum Set
- Temple Blocks
Players clapping, whistling and vocalizing
None discovered thus far.
Twist, composed for wind orchestra, is inspired by the shape, spirit and history of Australia’s magnanimous waterway, the Murray River (the Wiradjuri people of the Albury-Wodonga region call the river Millewa). The work is divided into six sections, subtitled Survival, Reflection, Discovery, Obsession, Carnevale and Ascension.
- Program Note from publisher
Twist was commissioned by a consortium led by the Australian Band and Orchestra Directors’ Association, Queensland, and was premiered at the Australian National Band and Orchestra Clinic in 2012. Composed for wind orchestra, Twist is inspired by the shape, spirit, and history of Australia’s magnanimous waterway, the Murray River (the Wiradjuri people of the albury-Wodonga region call the river ‘Millewa’). The work is divided into six sections:
Survival: This powerful opening was stimulated by the indigenous story of Tiddalick the Frog. There are assorted versions of this dreamtime fable but essentially, it tells of a colossal, greedy amphibian who consumes the entire river without thought for the inhabitants of his bionetwork. This forthright, almost violent introduction to your journey along the river is driven by bass and percussion; it seeks to paint Tiddalick’s volatile movements whilst he selfishly gorges on the region’s lifeblood.
Reflection speaks of the majestic beauty the river displays at dawn and dusk. At times, the water is so very calm that a perfect mirror image of the surrounding landscape is reflected on the water’s surface, bringing a sensation of inner peace to any spirit who is fortunate enough to experience such splendour. The elegance of the vibraphone pitted against a meandering flute solo and unpredictable bass line reflects the stillness of the river but the hidden undercurrents that lurk just beneath the surface.
Discovery reveals the arrival of European settlers and the introduction of paddleboats in the mid-1800s. These steam-powered beasts enabled essential supplies to be delivered to farmers working the land in arid, remote, regions. The magnificence of the towering cliffs must have been an awesome sight to newcomers navigating this often-treacherous waterway. These discoveries inspire a chorus of brass rising above busy, interlocking woodwinds and pulsating percussion, transforming into a glittering, joyous melody that echoes the enthusiasm and spirit of the paddleboats themselves. Just as dawn is announced by a chorus of Kookaburras, so too is this movement but instead of a recording, the call of these idiosyncratic Australian birds is emulated here by the trumpet section using various playing techniques and plungers.
Obsession: Following the paddleboats is a bush soundscape, painting the timbral colours experienced at the campfire at dusk. This is usurped by a sleazy late-night tango featuring at first the soprano, then baritone, saxophone. The river is as deceiving as it is beautiful. Whilst the calm and innocent surface has lured many into the Murray’s embrace, precarious snags, unseen creatures and treacherous undercurrents present many hazards. Even with experience the Murray still makes those in love with her unable to resist her temptations.
Carnevale is the Italian term for carnival or festival and is used here to capture the profound influence of Mediterranean culture in the South West regions of New South Wales. In the late 1940s and early 1950s hundreds of Italian people migrated to Australia, and thanks to the development of the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area and many years of strenuous labor, they helped to transform otherwise unworkable land into thriving viticultural regions. Whilst many despise the changes that man has brought to the Murray and her surrounding landscape, no one can deny that these one-time immigrants, now the great-grandfathers and mothers of second and third generation Australians, have prompted positive change in Australia. The melodic material used in this section is inspired by the Italian folk dance the ‘Tarantella’ and is simply bursting with energy and joy.
Ascension: Through all of these twists and turns the piece comes back to where we started using material from Survival. Not only does this implicate the lifecycle of the ecosystem but it also hopes to challenge all listeners to consider this: how do we successfully sustain of our beloved Murray River? As now it not only affects the natural inhabitants, it encompasses all who prosper from her bounty, and that means you.
- Program Note by composer
None discovered thus far.
To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project
- The Ohio State University (Columbus) Symphonic Band (Scott A. Jones, conductor) - 24 April 2022
- Texas Woman’s University (Denton) Wind Symphony (Carter Biggers, conductor) – 19 February 2020 (CBDNA 2020 Southwestern Division Conference, Norman, Okla.)
- The Ohio State University (Columbus) Symphonic Band (Scott A. Jones, conductor) – 13 February 2020
- Appalachian State University (Boone, N.C.) Symphony Band (Jason Gardner, conductor) – 21 November 2019
- Montclair (N.J.) State University Wind Symphony (Thomas McCauley, conductor) – 27 October 2019
- Manhattan Wind Ensemble (New York) (Sarah Fernández, conductor) – 23 May 2019
- University of California (Berkeley) Wind Ensemble II (Matthew Sadowski, conductor) – 28 April 2019
- California State University, San Bernardino, Symphonic Band (Nicholas Bratcher, conductor) - 8 March 2019
- Yale University (New Haven, Conn.) Concert Band (Thomas Duffy, conductor) – 11 November 2018
- University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire Symphony Band (Phillip Ostrander, conductor) – 13 October 2017
- Ball State University (Muncie, Ind.) Symphony Band (Caroline Hand, conductor) – 30 October 2015
Works for Winds by This Composer
All Wind Works
- Belah Sun Woman (2014)
- The Blessing of Light (2019)
- The Creation of Faith. See: Symphony No. I
- Devotion (2019)
- Earthshine (Flex instrumentation) (2014)
- Into the Sun (2017)
- Letter from Sado (2014)
- Majesty. See: Salon Morisot
- Peace Dancer (2017)
- Salon Morisot (2019)
- Soulström (2010/2019)
- Symphony No. I (2019)
- The Creation of Faith (2019)
- Terpsichorean Dances (2009)
- 13 Moons (Flex instrumentation) (2017)
- Twist (2013)
- Whirlwind (2006)
- Blackshaw, J.; Worrall, M. . Twist [score]. Brolga Music: Australia.
- Jodie Blackshaw website