Alright! I'm still working on the George Orwell show (amongst 4 other original shows for next fall!), but in the spirit of showing off my new GPO and JABB libraries, I'm sharing a show I wrote last year for a marching band in central Illinois.
The show is called "Not the Ninth" and is a modern twist on Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. The inspiration comes from the Santa Clara Vanguard and their 1995 show "Not the Nutcracker". Their entire show took themes from the Nutcracker and twisted them around in very dark ways. They went pretty far out there with their interpretation, but from a composition standpoint, I was fascinated with the show. Knowing that Beethoven's Ninth was more well known and beloved, I chose to still take it in a darker and modern direction while still being careful to respect the original material.
The general idea of the show was to keep using the Ode to Joy theme through the production but to never give it to you completely until the last impact of the show. I had been threatening to write this show for years, so to finally sit down and get it into the computer was an emotional experience. I had mulled the ideas over for years and had in many ways built it up in my head to a point that it was pretty difficult to achieve the high expectations I had for myself.
The files utilize GPO, JABB, and the CaMB Garritan libraries. I also utilized some light reverb. After the almost unanimous opinion from my last offering, I spent some time with it, and I think I have found a setting that works for me. I personally don't want to go much wetter with the reverb.
1) Not the Ninth
Based on the first movement of the symphony, it also establishes that we will be using the familiar themes in new ways. I dedicated this movement to my wife as we had just gotten married when it was written. The dedication reads, "To Jen - my wfie and one true joy."
2) Looking for Ludwig
Based on the second movement, it is for the most part a percussion feature that allows the mallets to be featured with a relatively straight up version of the main theme of the movement.
3) Thou Glorious Spark
The ballad is based on the third movement. The flutes and clarinets set down their instruments after the introduction and move to flags. When the big impact hit, there were nearly 60 silks on the field. Before the impact, the melody is a solo trumpet. The last notes are backfield along with the trumpet solo. The last note is a fermata that leads directly into...
4) Yoj ot Edo
The entire beginning is still backfield, all the way until the impact. The last movement is based on the Ode. I struggled with this movement the most because I had put a lot of pressure and expectation on myself to make the payoff as satisfying as I had built it up to in my head. Having the last 2 movements run together like this ended up being a great effect on the field.
I hope you enjoy the show. I'm very proud of it as well as how well those kids performed it. They turned something I had been thinking about for years into something really special.