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EN  United States
  • JOURNEY THROUGH THE SKIES

    content:
    1. 1. Movement
    2. 2. Movement
    3. 3. Movement
    4. 4. Movement
    5. 5. Movement
    composer: Nic Mills
    instrumentation:
    CONCERT BAND
    duration: 15:00 min.
    size: Large Format (A4 portrait)
    classification: Swiss Band Association top section
    difficulty level:
    genre:
    • Concert Pieces
    • Original Works & Contest Pieces
    year of publication: 2013
    price:    Z2
    description:
    On completion of my music degree in June 2012, I wanted to create an extended composition for wind orchestra. I began by sketching out stories and ideas for the four movements. The names of the movements are Flying, Falling Rain, Thunder and The Aurora. Similar to another work in this portfolio, Symphonic Suite for Brass Band, Journey Through The Skies contains four movements and is a programmatic work trying to depict each title. The firstmovement, Flying, has a moto perpetuo feel and with this constant movement the audience really feel like they are soaring through the clouds. The main theme, heard at the beginning in the Horns and Euphonium, and accompanying figuresin the Flutes and Clarinets become the basis for the whole work. The second movement, "Falling Rain," Is a lot softer and folk-like in nature. The oboe soli at bar 116 produces the ideal emotive melody for the rest of the movement to follow, with the rest of the ensemble becoming more active at bar 124 to help simulate falling rain. I also wanted to use the percussion section, which included a rain stick, wind chimes, vibraphone, marimba and suspended cymbal to help make the audience imagine being in the rain, with it falling off the trees and into puddles. The third movement, Thunder, is hectic and a real tour de force for the ensemble, especially when being driven by intertwining rhythmic patterns. The main instrument in the movement is the bass drum, which represents the thunder and it gains and loses momentum throughout the movement to show the storm approaching and then dissipating. I researched Igor Stravinsky"s Rite of Spring and how each rhythmic group could be used to ist full potential but to also create continuity throughout the movement. With the storm dissipating at the of the third movement, The Aurora movement softly starts with appregiated flutesand an eerie feel of the held notes in the clarinets and lower brass, being prolonged in almost anticipation with scalic passages from the woodwind to almost reveal the aurora through the clouds. A solo cornet can be held playing an extended version of the main theme used across the piece, which is followed by a lone horn playing in the higher tessitura to help create a mystical atmosphere. The movement then flowsinto a developed recapitulation of the rhythmic figure,heard in the vibraphone and trumpets in the second movement, before finishingwith a full bombastic repeat of the opening section from the firstmovement which concludes with an extended coda similar to the end of the same movement. This work is one of the firstfully extended works I have written, allowing the audience to really experience a journey through the skies and be able to follow the melodic and harmonic developments of the main theme as it is transformed through each movement.

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