One thing that became rapidly apparent to me as I finished the first movement and started in on the second was that I felt I was on to something really good. Some projects are hard work, some work out well, and every now and then you stumble upon something that really feels right. For me, this project was that. It started as something I just was inspired to write without having anybody lined up to perform it. The response I received on my site after just posting the opener was truly surprising. Later this fall, I will be going through and revising and expanding the ideas to become a concert band work. Michigan State University is tentatively planning on performing it, still a few details to work out.
This was created in Finale 2008 utilizing samples from GPO, JABB, and CAMB. It is an original work for marching band that is now a commission for the Bloomington HS Band this fall. It will also be performed by a band from Canyon Springs, CA. Battery parts will be written by somebody else at a later date.
1) The Negative Utopia http://trimpe.org/samples/1984-1.mp3
This is the file I had posted before. Before, the opening mello solo didn't make a ton of sense without the context of the second movement. Hopefully this should clear most of that up. That opening solo is Winston's "creative" motive. The rest of the opener is rigid and militaristic, establishing life under Big Brother. There is no color on the field.
2) Winston's Secret http://trimpe.org/samples/1984-2.mp3
The opening section is a brass quintet that leads into a trombone solo. This is where color starts to appear on the field. One of the things that struck me about the book was that in the beginning, when Winston starts writing a diary (something that he shouldn't be doing), he has been so beaten down by conformity that he has absolutely no idea what to write or how to be creative. I tried to recreate that with the awkwardness that pops up through the movement. Also, during the trombone solo, you will hear an extended awkward note. During that note, half the guard in the back of the field will toss their opener flags while everything on the field stops. This is a musical and visual reminder that creativity is not good and that you need to be watching over your shoulder that you don't get caught doing something you shouldn't be doing.
3) Big Brother is Watching You http://trimpe.org/samples/1984-3.mp3
The finale. The ballad establishes one soloist who pulls out an almost tie-dyed flag. She becomes the focus of the closer as everything comes down and compresses around her. The "empty" section is the battery break. You'll hear as the music gains intensity where she will be surrounded, and as the last big hit happens, 2 of the members of the pit will drag her off the field while the show is still going on. For the rest of the show, the guard does nothing but dropspins. No creativity. Obey.
So there you have it. I hope you enjoy it. I can't wait to see it performed live, and when the concert band version is done, you can bet I will be subjecting you all to this mess all over again!
My apologies for not getting to this sooner... and I'm
most impressed with what I hear, now that I finally did
This is an outstanding suite, my friend. I've listened
to all three movements this evening to hear the completed
version in its entirety. Band music is not an area in which
I am well versed -- but I know good material when I hear
it... and this should prove a powerful crowd pleaser.
Many congratulations on the possibilities with Michigan
State University. Work of this caliber richly deserves