Here Be Dragons (wind ensemble, grade 4-4.5)

$45.00

Run time: approx. 4’30”. I read somewhere online that seafarers of old used the phrase “here be dragons” to signify an unknown or dangerous stretch of uncharted water, and the thought stuck with me. Even though there is little historical reference for this, the idea lives on in my imagination. What beasts would await these sailors? Are they a band of pirates outrunning the law or explorers on a new adventure? How do they react to the presence of something (theoretically) large and menacing? Is there a peaceful resolution? This piece explores those ideas, with winds providing air sounds and the timpanist playing no actual notes but instead using an inverted cymbal head on the drum. (Perusal score available!)

Description

I collect titles.

It’s a habit I started years ago. Step one: find catchy or interesting phrase. Step two: write down. Step three: use when the moment strikes. Here Be Dragons is a product of one such moment; I read somewhere online that seafarers of old used the phrase to signify an unknown or dangerous stretch of uncharted water, and the thought stuck with me. Even though there is little historical reference for this, the idea lives on in my imagination. What beasts would await these sailors? Are they a band of pirates outrunning the law or explorers on a new adventure? How do they react to the presence of something (theoretically) large and menacing? Is there a peaceful resolution?

These questions inspired the music of Here Be Dragons. I rely on extended technique in the woodwinds and brass to create airy sounds reminiscent of the crash of a wave. The timpanist plays no actual notes on the drumhead; instead, they use an inverted cymbal to add noise almost like a whale’s call to the texture. The rest of the percussion section chimes in to add depth and clarity to specific moments. On this journey, everyone has a purpose, and the adventure starts the moment the baton rises.

Here Be Dragons was commissioned by Denton Grant for the Allendale High School Wind Ensemble.

Run time: approx. 4’30”.

Here Be Dragons perusal (preview before you buy!) NOTE: this piece delivers in one file; the score is formatted for 11″x17″ and the parts are 8.5″x11″.

Listen to Here Be Dragons as performed by the Allendale High School Wind Ensemble under the baton of Denton Grant:

Past performances:

  • 5/3/2019: Allendale High School Wind Ensemble, Allendale, MI
  • 5/2/2019: Allendale High School Wind Ensemble, Allendale, MI (world premiere)

A word on my large ensemble policy: I am fully aware that the circumstances of your ensemble’s instrumentation and/or your judges’ requirements for festival score submissions may require you to print additional copies of the scores and/or parts you purchase from me. That’s totally fine! Every time you buy a PDF from me, you also buy the right to make as many copies as your ensemble needs—for this performance and in the future. If you need written permission to possess and use additional copies of a score, shoot me an email (either with your initial order or before your performance) or use my Contact form. I’ll happily write you one!

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