I. Shouting Defiance – 2’30”
II. Nocturne – 4′
III. Exclamation – 1’30”
IV. Meditation – 12′
V. Zeal – 4′
Pendulum is symphonic in scope, developing a small amount of musical material over five movements. The music oscillates between exultant exclamations and introspective ruminations, a pendulum of mental states.
Shouting Defiance is an emphatic fanfare that opens the work with a defiant, yet optimistic expanding chord progression. The title is taken from the lyrics for Illinois Loyalty:
Lead on your sons and daughters, fighting for you,
Like men of old, on giants placing reliance, shouting defiance—
Nocturne is a short, simple chorale, using an impromptu melody I wrote on a napkin during Paul Bryan’s 98th birthday party in March, 2018. “PB,” as he is known to his friends, is the former director of the Duke University Wind Symphony, a noted musicologist, and still plays his Euphonium every day. During his tenure at Duke (1954-1987), he commissioned Giannini’s Symphony No. 3, Dello Joio’s Variants on a Medieaval Tune, and Persichetti’s So Pure the Star, among other works. He also once had Percy Grainger to Duke as a guest composer.
Exclamation is a ninety-second interjection of material related to movements I and V – an outburst of manic energy that quickly expends itself. Persichetti’s Divertimento for Band (a favorite of mine from my days playing in band) is often lurking in the background of my sonic imagination, and, to my ears at least, this movement bears some influence from that work.
Meditation is the most spacious music of the five movements. Beginning attacca from Exclamation, the music juxtaposes the opening chord progression from Shouting Defiance with the melody from Nocturne. The patient pulse of time marked by a quiet bass drum underscores a continually evaporating, blurred texture. The music culminates in a brief episode of arrival which dissolves, returning us to a state of measured stasis.
Zeal ignites immediately into a simmering cloud of breath and cymbals. The expanding chord progression from Shouting Defiance returns, and the music moves with simple-minded, burning self-certainty, embodying the seductive euphoria and danger of absolute belief.
The University of Illinois gratefully acknowledges the following alumni conductors, their institutions, and friends who contributed to this project celebrating the Sesquicentennial of the University of Illinois Bands.
Evanston Township High School, Evanston, Illinois—Matthew P. Bufis, Director of Bands
Fresno State Wind Orchestra, Fresno, California—Gary P. Gilroy, Director of Bands
John Hersey High School, Arlington Heights, Illinois—Scott Casagrande, Director of Bands
Bill and Julie Jastrow, Naperville, Illinois
University of Evansville, Evansville, Illinois—Kenneth Steinsultz, Director of Bands
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois—Stephen Peterson, Director of Bands
University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky—Cody Birdwell, Director of Bands
University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts—Matthew Westgate, Director
University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, North Carolina—Kevin M. Geraldi and John R. Locke, Conductors
University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina—Scott Weiss, Conductor
University of South Dakota, Vermillion, South Dakota—John P. LaCognata, Conductor
University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming—Robert Belser, Director of Bands
Charles and Marti Yassky, Tappan, New York
Commissioned by: University of Illinois and consortium
21 February 2019, CBDNA National Conference, Tempe, AZ
Flute I – II – III – IV (doubles Picc., Alto Flute (optional))
Oboe I – II
Bassoon I – II
Clarinet in Bb I – II – III (doubles Eb Clar.)
Bb Bass Clarinet
Bb Contrabass Clarinet (optional)
Alto Saxophone I (doubles Soprano in Mvt. V) – II
Bb Trumpet I – II – III
Horn in F I – II – III – IV
Trombone I – II – III (Bass)
Euphonium I – II
Percussion 1: Glockenspiel, Vibraphone, Xylophone
Percussion 2: Suspended Cymbal (16”), Sizzle Cymbal, Splash Cymbal, Glockenspiel (can be shared with Perc. 1), Sandpaper blocks
Percussion 3: Bass Drum, Suspended Cymbal (16”)
Percussion 4: Suspended Cymbal (18” or larger), Sandpaper blocks, Toms (2, med./low), Splash Cymbal (can be shared with Perc. 2), China Cymbal
Percussion 5: Woodblocks (2, high/med.), Tambourine, Vibraphone (shared with Perc. 1), Spash Cymbal, Sizzle Cymbal, Marimba, Glockenspiel (shared with Perc. 1), Sandpaper blocks
Mvt II: Perc. 2-5 are TACET, Mvt IV: Perc. 5 is TACET
Detailed Percussion information broken down by movement:
1: Glock, Vibes, Xylo
2: Sizzle Cymbal, Sus Crash Cymbal (16″ sticks, heavy brushes, light brushes), Splash Cym. (can be shared with Perc 4)
3: BD, Sus Crash Cym (16″?) or Hi-hat w/sticks (fast decay, med-high pitch)
4: Sus. Cym, Sandblocks, Toms (2), Splash Cym (can be shared with Perc. 2)
5: Woodblocks (2, hi/lo or hi/med), Tambourine (laid flat on a table, dampened, played with sticks?), Vibraphone (shared with Perc 1)
Timpani – TACET
4: Toms (2: hi/lo)
5: Splash Cym., Sizzle Cym
2: Sandblocks, Sizzle Cymbal
4: Suspended Cymbal, Sandblocks
2: Sus Crash Cym (16″) w/med-heavy brushes; with sticks, Splash Cym., Sizzle Cym.
3: Sus Crash Cym (16″) w/light brushes, BD
4: Susp. Cymbal (18″ or larger), China Cymbal, Sandpaper blocks
5: Marimba, Glock, Sandpaper blocks
Under consortium exclusivity until December, 2019.
Availability Date: January, 2020