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    Rhapsody in Black - Andi Cook

    Rhapsody in Black - Andi Cook - 10'40'' - BVT126 The primary inspiration for this work comes from the composer’s first encounter with the genre of Symphonic Metal - the opening track of the 2004 Nightwish album 'Once', entitled Dark chest of Wonders. The combination of full orchestra, operatically trained female vocals and the raw power of a Scandinavian metal band was a potent mix that instantly had me hooked.That same dark and powerful sound is one that a brass band can generate, and I've tried to capture that in this composition. Heavy Rock/Metal as a genre is arguably fifty years old now, but symphonic metal is a newer concept, and I feel possibly the one that can bridge the gap between two musical styles very dear to me.Composer Gilbert Vinter had explored through music the connotations that different colours held for him, and his movement Purple from 'Spectrum' gave me an idea for the structure of ‘Rhapsody in Black’. Andi Cook explored the different connotations of one colour within his own life, black being an easy choice due to the personal dichotomy of the black leather jacket he wore to the rock club on Friday night and the black suit jacket and tie he wore to the concert hall the next day.To avoid repetition the word 'black' is omitted from the five movement titles, each of which is a different episode. '...as Thunder' is a furious argument between two people - the top and bottom of the band - set against the backdrop of a storm, with lightning flashing outside while barbs, insults, sarcasm, tears and even violence is traded inside. Following that '...Satin and Pearls' is an old black-and-white movie with a wistful character to it as if we're looking back a screen icon with fondness long after their career or even their life has ended. '...as the Raven's Wing.' is deliberately gothic and funereal, hinting at Edgar Allen Poe's similarly named poem, with undertones of death and afterlife. The shift into F/C Minor (band pitch) represents the descent - alive - into the grave that Poe had a paranoid fear of his entire life. Family and friends standing around grieving, oblivious as we're lowered into the earth despite frantic attempts to make ourselves heard. '...and Chrome' is an unashamed motorcycle reference with all its born-to-be-wild, open air, high speed and freedom overtones. In a deliberate contrast to what went before it continues several of the same motifs though this time in the major key. Lastly, we reprise the second movement with '...as the Night Sky' which is simply the feeling of walking home under the summer stars, with someone important - who that is, is left to the listener, but a walk under the stars is always that bit special.There's an old saying that very few things are black and white. I hope this work will prove that even black alone isn't quite as simple as it's often made out....‘Rhapsody in Black’ is dedicated to the composer’s friend and mentor John Roberts, who shares his love of both brass and rock.

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    Paint It Black - Mick Jagger & Keith Richards - Len Jenkins

    "Paint It Black" (originally released as "Paint It, Black") was written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, and first released as a single on 6 May 1966. It became the Rolling Stones' sixth number one in the UK and has remained influential as the first number one hit featuring a sitar. The song came at a pivotal period in The Rolling Stones' recording history, a time that saw the song-writing collaboration of Jagger and Richards assert itself as the principal composers of the band's original material. Its lyrics are for the most part meant to describe bleakness and depression and describe the extreme grief suffered by one stunned by the sudden and unexpected loss of wife, lover or partner. It famously plays during the end credits of the film Full Metal Jacket. Beginning in the style of an ironic minuet, which can be by-passed by starting at bar 54 where the heavy rock beat takes over, the piece is interesting and within the capabilities of 3rd or 4th section bands. For those bands with a drummer and one percussionist, an alternative percussion part is provided.