ADDITIONAL SCORE ONLY. 'Songs of Ascent' was composed for the Royal Northern College of Music Brass Band, as part of their programme for the 2019 RNCM Festival of Brass. In my view, the festival itself is the leading showcase for original contemporary music for the medium (in a concert setting) in the world and therefore an ideal place to explore new ideas and sounds, which was a notion fundamental to the construction of this work. The piece is subtitled 'Out of the Depths, I cry to you, O Lord'; the opening line of Psalm 130 (which forms part of a set of 15 psalsm, 120-134 known as the Songs of Ascent") which forms the main inspiration for much of the musical material. Following an extended opening for four individual tuba lines, there are a number of solos for members of the band off stage, with bleak and deep accompaniment lines, reflecting the words of Psalm 130. Amongst these 'songs of ascents', the most common and strong themes are repentance and redemption; with the central core of this work emerging 'from the depths' to reveal one of very few calming and reflective passages of the work utilising the tune of 'Guide Me O Thy Great Redeemer' in a new setting, featuring the Solo Horn and Bass Trombone, before returning to the ethereal and dark timbres that form much of the music up to this point. In terms of compositional technique, this work is solely based on a set of 4 9-note scales in their various unique transpositions (below). Each of these scales provide a set of 2 whole tone scales, 6 minor triads, 6 major triads and is built on 9 augmented triads. Whilst most of the music in this work is based melodically on the set of notes (heard right at the outset in the motif in the tuba line), the central section delves into the harmonic capabilities of these 'modes', using a number of the 7 'keys' which can be derived from the minor & major chords derived in each scale. All 4 scales are used independantly to each other, with whole sections of the work focussing on each mode. 'Songs of Ascent' was selected as the set test piece for the Championship Section at the Butlins Mineworkers Championships in 2020.In stock: Estimated delivery 1-2 days
In Greek mythology Mount Olympus was regarded as the "home" of the Twelve Olympian gods of the ancient Greek world. The music depicts three of the most famous gods and goddesses, their traits and what they symbolise. The piece is split into 4 seperate movements:I. Prelude.II. Apollo: The god of music, healing plagues and prophesieIII. Aphrodite: The Goddess of love and beautyIV. Zeus: The king of the Gods, ruler of Mount Olympus and god of the sky, weather, thunder, law, order, and fate'Myth of the Mountain' can be used as a 2nd/3rd Section test piece, but could be used as a substantial work for concerts.
The Torchbearer was commissioned by Kapitol Promotions and the Federation of Australasian Brass Bands as the test piece for the 2009 National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain and the FABB Open Contest respectively. The commission was initiated by the Federation's Music Advisor, Professor David King, whose support and encouragement for the idea of a piece commemorating the 20th anniversary of Eric Ball's death is greatly appreciated.The variations are based upon the first phrase of the trio from Eric Ball's Salvation Army march, Torchbearers.After opening statements of the theme, variation 1 (an energetic allegro brillante utilising fragment A) commences at bar 35. Cadenza passages for Eb Bass and Euphonium lead to variation 2 (an andante appassionato based upon fragment B) at 104. Variation 3 (142 - a vivace featuring C as an ostinato) is followed at 205 by variation 4, the central andante e sciolto molto for solo cornet (utilising D1 as a counterpoint and D2 as a 2nd phrase).The work culminates at bar 291 in a reprise of the cornet solo, now fully metamorphosised and mirroring in music a concept at the centre of Ball's broader philosophy, that of transformation.I have endeavoured to retain the main compositional characteristics and harmonic flavour of Eric Ball's Salvation Army and contest music. His scoring techniques are a model for any student of the medium and whilst I have aimed for similar colours and clarity of line in texture, concessions have been made in the instrumentation of the 21st century brass band. A slightly more developed percussion section is utilised employing timpani and xylophone in dominant roles.Eric Ball will be remembered as a composer whose classic works for brass shine through with integrity and sincerity. I have been no less sincere in my efforts to pay musical tribute to the 20th century's most influential composer of brass band music.Estimated delivery 12-14 days