Dedicated to the child victims of the horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14th, 2012, this tone poem attempts to inspire peace through introspection. A gentle lilting melody, slowly growing in intensity, depicts the ascension of 20 Tiny Angels. The 7/4 time signature and modal harmony gives an impression of otherworldliness on which the melody floats. This piece features an improvised solo section supported by true modal harmony, creating a beautiful complexity of colors and shades.
"Alone Within You" uses quotes from Debussy's Nocturnes to express a developing relationship between a young woman and an old boy. The piece traverses the emotional distance from passion, to resistance and fear, and finally back to passion. In the end, despite many attempts, the relationship never quite comes to a clean ending.
Like the other pieces in the DLE Series, this one requires a developed rhythmic maturity in order for all the parts to interlock. This piece includes a rock/funk solo section.
“Bananas for Anna” showcases the more aggressive side of the DLE in this up-tempo songo. With the addition of an electric bass, we could really start to “lay in” to our latin repertoire. So, I wrote “Büf” (as the band later aptly referred to it) with a driving bass, complex melody, and montuno break-down in mind. To assure never a dull moment, our drummer, John James, incorporates the left-foot clave technique throughout the montuno sections.
This piece is simply constructed from two contrasting sections. The first section is lyrical, harmonically ambiguous, and smoothly textured. The second has a repetitive melodic figure, straight-forward chord progression, and idiomatic strumming patterns. The two sections are connected by a brief but challenging “wind-down” phrase in the melody and drum set parts, and are combined in different proportions in each of the three macroscopic structures of the piece as a whole. The central structure allows plenty of room for exploration by a featured improviser.
One of Debussy's more recognizable and crowd-pleasing pieces, this arrangement is a challenging piece to perform not for its technical requirements, but more for its expressive demands (dynamics and tempo) and the ability for the ensemble to listen to one another. A conductor is recommended, but not absolutely necessary. It is also recommended to have a middle pan section that can accommodate the sweeping arpeggios found in the quadrophonic part. Most 4-pan configurations can accommodate this role.
This explosive show stopper from Saint-Saëns' grand opera makes an excellent concert finale or competition piece for the advanced ensemble. Divided sections demand independence from the individual players while rendering a more accurate depiction of the composer's original timbral landscape than otherwise possible. A full complement of orchestral percussion makes this piece a memorable experience for performers and audience members alike.
The title Endymion & Diana is derived from characters of Roman mythology. This work is a chamber piece and should be played with neither percussive accompaniment nor doubling of parts. Because of this, this piece requires each player to navigate various rhythmic and dynamic complexities. This piece serves as a great recital piece or contrast piece during a concert.
This impressive march from Verdi's popular opera is great for showcasing the expressive flexibility of an ensemble. The Triumphal March, in the opera, marks the victorious return of the Egyptian army. At 12 minutes in it's entirety, this powerful piece works well as the cornerstone of a concert or competition set.
This piece was influenced by the bélé rhythms found in Martinique. The heavily syncopated 3/4 groove is accented by the accompanying pans and bass throughout the verse. The chorus continues the displacement of the groove accents while transforming into a swung 4-beat pattern. The verse is then repeated with the melody added to the bass part (on top of the original groove—good luck bass players!) and harmonized in the lead part. After a return to the chorus, the song transitions into a “2nd chapter” with a solo section and key-changing bridge.
Kidding on the Square is an adaptation of the Afro-Peruvian landó. Much of the excitement of the landó is generated by the simultaneous implication of three-beat and four-beat structures presented by the rhythm section, which often includes the cajón (large box drum), quijada (jaw bone), cajita (small, lidded box drum), bells, and additional shaken or scraped instruments. Kidding on the Square approximates this through the synthesis of common patterns played by the individual instruments of the landó rhythm section into a single, challenging drum set part.
Lemon Law is a fun, upbeat tune roughly in sonata form. The ‘A’ section is swing-based, and contains the ‘head.’ It metrically modulates into the ‘B’ section, which is reggae-based. The ‘B’ section also contains a written-out tenor pan solo. With relatively little transition the piece enters what could be considered the development, combining elements of the piece at various pitch levels. After a fairly lengthy build-up, the A section returns with occasional alterations from what might be expected.
Magharibi (“Dusk” in Swahili) depicts a slowly setting sun on the horizon of an African savannah. This is the end of another warm, arid day—an eye’s blink in the cycle of life—and creatures from every rung of the food chain sprint, scurry, and slither around.
From Chopin's collection of Nocturnes for solo piano, this arrangement is great for showcasing the expressive flexibility of your ensemble as well as the technique of your middle pans. The piece starts with a slow eerie melody, resplendent with the lush harmonies expected from a Chopin work. Midway through, the tempo begins to build into a feverish agitato, arriving ultimately at a lively dancelike section in the enharmonically respelled key of the dominant, Ab Major. Following a brief cello cadenza, the piece concludes in the same subdued manner it began.
The full steel band version of Number 2 takes this composition to the next level. Like the original combo piece, it is written in a progressive style, with a nice Afro-Cuban groove. While alternating time signatures, this piece maintains its melodic feel and sense of flow. This arrangement utilizes the full steel band to really provide a driving groove throughout. In lieu of the optional bass solo, as in the combo arrangement, the bass solo if fully orchestrated with variations.
This challenging arrangement of Bizet's beloved ouverture is fertile ground for the ambitious Double Seconds soloist. This piece demands a mastery of the triple-stop and quadruple-stop from the soloist as well as strong independence between the hands.
A solo for Cello Pan utilizing a Rondo form composed in a neo-Baroque style. A solid command of technique is required in this swirling refrain and variations. This piece also includes a brief fugato section to display the soloists' control of multi-voice counterpoint. Moving nimbly across the full 2 octave range of the the cello pan, this piece is great program material for the advanced soloist.
This three part suite pairs the tenor pannist with the string cellist creating a novel timbral landscape. The first piece begins with a slow chromatic introduction working its way into a much faster section in the oft-neglected key of Gb Major. The second piece features a slow lyrical melody in the tenor pan over a gently moving cello line in the key of Db Major. The final piece in the work is an extremely brisk, mixed-meter, dancelike movement in D minor, complete with a metric modulation from compound to simple time.