30 seconds of music for brass band — 1993
In 1993, the Grimethorpe Collery Band gave a concert titled The Band Plays On in the Queen Elizabeth Hall on London’s South Bank, as a part benefit, part celebration of the fact that the band was continuing to play in spite of the colliery having been closed. Elgar Howarth invited four composers, one of whom was me, to write very short pieces — 30 seconds, in fact — to be interspersed through the concert and played without a conductor. With this in mind, I placed material generated by my Fractal Music program over a simple motor rhythm in the percussion. In the event, however, Howarth did conduct these pieces, and mine was the only one to keep to the 30-seconds brief (I swear one of them, by a composer I won’t name, was a full four minutes long)!
The title reflects the fact that the miners at Grimethorpe and elsewhere were short-changed by the government, it’s a short piece and, well, it’s a bit of a change too.
- soprano cornet in E flat
- 8 cornets in B flat, 5–8 with harmon mutes
- flugelhorn in B flat
- 3 tenor horns in E flat
- 2 baritone horns in B flat
- 2 euphoniums in B flat
- 2 tenor trombones
- bass trombone
- 2 basses in E flat
- 2 basses in BB flat
- percussion 1: snare drum, 3 tom-toms
- percussion 2: crash cymbal, 2 ride cymbals
- (optional) percussion 3: tam-tam to replace crash cymbal
Performances / broadcasts / recordings
- Première: 1993, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London: Grimethorpe Colliery Band, conductor Elgar Howarth
Listen to MIDI version (0:34)
This a computer-generated mockup of music entirely or partially for ‘real’ instruments. Clearly it is no substitute for a live performance, but it’s all I’ve got — or perhaps all I can make public for various reasons. There’s a fuller disclaimer on the Listen page.
- Sequencer: MOTU Digital Performer (Mac)
- Instrument families mixed down to separate stereo audio tracks, then combined for the final stereo mix. Reverb is built in to all instruments used
- All open brass: Garritan Concert & Marching Band (host: ARIA Player)
- Harmon muted cornets: trumpets from Garritan Jazz & Big Band (host: ARIA Player)
- Percussion: Native Instruments Battery 3
- Score: MakeMusic Finale
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