The opportunity to write this particular work came on the heels of five agonizing months composing a very dark, sad and tragic song cycle based on poems of the First World War. And since I have a creative tendency to bounce from one extreme emotion to another, obviously it was time to jump from "angst" to "silly music." I've always wanted to write a "real" divertimento for band; however, in this instance most of the ideas I was having seem to be more appropriate for a "demented" divertimento and hence the name that launched these seven dances.
In a small homage to :"Pictures at and Exhibition," it only seemed appropriate to begin this journey with a "walking song" of sorts.
- RED & REBEE MORRIS OF BELCHERTOWN, MASSACHUSETTS DANCE
I wanted to write a "fake" Morris Dance, and since Percy Grainger had already usurped the title "Mock Morris", I thought the next best thing would be to find some Morris' to name the movement after. So, considering the commission location, I simply threw a dart at the map of Massachusetts and then went on line to find some people named Morris. (Don't even try. . . I borrowed individuals from two different households, and I DID disguise their names, to protect the innocent!) Also, in the way of homage, the march sections of the movement are meant to allude to the musical style of Robert Russell Bennett - just because somebody should.
- SNAZZY SWING DANZZING
At this point, it was time for some "fun" music . . .
- SAD DANCING
. . . Followed by melancholy music.
- EDANEMORP 180 DEGREES OK
I'll give you 30 seconds to figure it out . . . Time's up. Yes, the guy in the 12th row, 14th seat over got it right! It's the Promenade upside-down and backwards. Was that so hard?
- PIXIE / TROLL / PIXIE DANCE
This was actually the second movement I composed following the Promenade. It's obvious that I've been watching too much morning TV with my granddaughter! This movement did give me an opportunity to incorporate a percussion instrument called the "Lion's Roar." I have instructions on how to make one and pictures are on the FAQ section of www.davidrholsinger.com. What do you use it for? Well, in this case, it serves as the definitive "troll grunt" sound!
- RECKLESS DANCING
And last, but not least, a rip-roaring, multi-meter, multi-layered, and other multi-stuff movement careening with reckless abandon toward the, probably not-unexpected, "whacka-whacka" ending! Have fun with it.
- Composer: David R. Holsinger
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