Above the Clouds
for Concert Band
I began composing Above the Clouds with the very technical idea of creating a piece that was based on a simple theme. It was only until about halfway through writing this piece that the title came to me. As I reflected back through the music, a story began to develop in my mind. I imagined some sort of being, who was experiencing the emotions of flying.
The music begins with an optimistic floating feeling as our hero begins to lift from the ground. He soon grows comfortable with his wings and is no longer hindered by uncertainty as he acrobatically soars through the sky. Suddenly, he comes crashing to the ground. He limps along on a dry mountaintop, struggling to take flight and wondering if he will ever again take to the skies. Our hero eventually gains the strength and courage to try once more. He soars higher and higher, before raising his fist in victory and flying off into the distance.
While I think this is a very literal take on the piece, I ultimately think of this music as a story of triumph and perseverance through self-belief.
The percussion parts are divided in a way that facilitates a performance by as few as 4 percussionists, allowing academic and community groups with limited musicians the chance to expand their repertoire.
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