Hey folks. I've finally finished my 4-movement work Four Elements which I've been showing snippets of here and there. The only movement I havn't already shown is the 2nd, Firepeak, but I'll post all four with recaps for those that didn't see/hear those ones.
Movement I - Sandstorm
The first movement encompasses the element of earth. The formal structure is based off an Indian raga called Ramkali. It is a raga for the sunrise, which was great for a beginning. Another image that came to mind after writing it was that of a caravan moving across the desert, strong walls of sand passively assaulting the passengers and animals. Of course, an actual raga would last at least 10x as long, but in the name of pacing I scaled things down. It is the thickest of the four movements instrument-wise, as things get more and more intimate as the piece progresses. The percussion is new to this version. I used the lovely Darbuk samples from G-Town and the egg shaker.
Instruments: Flute, Alto Flute, Bass Flute, Oboe, English Horn, Bb Clarinet, Bassoon, Contrabassoon, Harp x2, Strings, Darbuk, Shaker
Movement II - Firepeak (New!)
We move our focus to the element of fire. This movement was created primarily as a percussion piece, with scattered tonal elements thrown in. Though not fire itself, the structure was actually based around wood: often the origins for the element to grow from. I took tree rings and measured the relative distance between each one to determine the length of each section as well as what notes to use at what time. It sounds more complex than it actually was. For images to go off of, I tried to evoke the licks of the flame as it sparks up into the air, embers as they fall down and sizzle on the ground, and the general haze that gets associated with something burning. More G-Town goodness used in this piece.
Instruments: Sticks, Shaker, Metal Plate, Toms, Bass Drum, Gongs, Marimba, English Horn, Strings, Harp x2
Movement III - Lightningfield
The element of air, to me, likes to encompass not only the wind but the storms of lighting and thunder from the clouds. The images in this movement are two-fold: The first is the gentle stillness of the wind as it rustles through leaves, sand, perhaps a little bell at a temple. The second is the storm itself; first lingering on the horizon; then in full bloom at our present location, thunder shaking the sky while cracks of lightning strike. The storm dies down and we return to the calm from before, perhaps with a light rain. The main image I went off of were beautiful photos of an installation art piece in New Mexico called the Lightning Field (the source of this mvt's name). It's basically a 1km by 1mile stretch of land with metal poles scattered in even intervals, drawing lightning to strike in a very concentrated area.
Instruments: Timpani x2, Bass Drum, Mark Tree, Crotales, Glass Harmonica, Hand Bells, Celesta, Metal Plate
Movement IV - Waterfall
The final movement could possibly be seen as a continuation from the third, as rain begins the movement into the last element of water. I visualize the piece as almost the journey of an individual drop of rain. It starts in the clouds above and falls down into the earth. It drips into a river and flows down through smooths and rapids. It then comes to a waterfall and dives off, falling through the air and landing again below. The river widens, and eventually reaches the grand ocean and whatever lies beyond. Instruments from all the prior movements come together in this section for a bit of calm closure: the marimba from Firepeak, the glockenspiel/crotales from Lightningfield, and the strings from Sandstorm.
Instruments: Flute, Timpani, Crotales, Glockenspiel, Marimba, Vibraphone, Harp, Strings
Enjoy Comments are appreciated.