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Adaptable Music for These Uncertain Times

January 30, 2021 MusicNews

UPDATE: 30 January 2021: MetaMarch (arr. Robert Ambrose) and The Low Arc of the Sun are now available in flexible versions. Details are on their respective pages.

UPDATE: 4 September 2020: The Machine Awakes is now available in a FIVE-PART version (all strings, woodwinds, brass), with optional Piano and percussion parts. BONUS: the electronics tracks (stems) are newly available for you and your students to remix! Available as a separate item on The Machine Awakes page.

UPDATE: 20 July 2020: In This Broad Earth is now available in a FIVE-PART version (all strings, woodwinds, brass) with optional percussion.

As of today, July 2nd, 2020, no one in the US quite knows what the band and orchestra rehearsals will look like when the academic year begins this Fall. Some schools may have full ensembles (though that seems highly unlikely and truly unwise), but most, if they meet in person at all, will probably consist of small, rotating groups of students. Directors and music teachers may not have much control over the instrumentation that is present for a particular day. This obviously makes music written for bands and orchestras impossible to play.

As part of the Creative Repertoire Initiative, I and several composers who have written extensively for educational ensembles met to discuss 1) how to adapt existing repertoire to be malleable in the face of ever-changing instrumentation, 2) how to create original music for this scenario, and most importantly 3) develop resources to help as many other composers as possible to take on this challenge, as well. Join us over at the Facebook group to participate.

Here are the projects I’m working on:

Existing Works, adapted:

DUSK (two versions):

  1. FOUR-PART VERSION can be played by almost any combination of four instruments, regardless of register and timbre. Parts included: C, Bb, F, Eb, in treble, alto, and bass clefs for strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion.
  2. FIVE-PART VERSION is a slightly stricter arrangement following the Japanese All-Band Association’s flexible band requirements. Also includes string parts.

 

THE MACHINE AWAKES:

  • FIVE-PART VERSION that follows the Japanese All-Band Association’s flexible band requirements. Also includes string parts and a full complement of optional percussion parts.
  • REMIXABLE audio files (“stems”) and CLICK TRACK/SEQUENCE (DAW) already set up for you to create a virtual ensemble version of the piece, or allow your students to collaborate on a remix of the piece – available now!

 

IN THIS BROAD EARTH:

  • FIVE-PART VERSION that follows the Japanese All-Band Association’s flexible band requirements. Also includes string parts and a full complement of optional percussion parts.

Follow the links for more details. I intend for these to be playgrounds for experimentation and learning.

Other arrangements of existing pieces that are in the works, or I’m contemplating:

New works:

TBA: grade 3, 3′, with electronics. Commissioned as part of the ASPIRE consortium, led by Glen Adsit (The Hartt School). Premiere TBD.

Chamber works:

I have a recent Duet, easily playable by high school and above players, in multiple versions (everything from two Cellos, to Clarinet+Bass Clarinet, to Alto+Bari Sax, to any two low brass, etc.).