(1999) for wind ensemble
duration: 5 minutes
grade level: 5
premieres: IU & Musashino Academy Wind Ensembles, Ray Cramer, 1999
live performance audio excerpts (arrowheads navigate tracks):
Winner of the 2001 Walter Beeler Memorial Composition Prize, Ithaca College
This work was commissioned by the Musashino Academy of Music, Tokyo, Japan, in honor of their 70th anniversary, and is dedicated to Ray Cramer.
In April and May of 1999, Ray Cramer conducted the first performances of Myaku, with the Indiana University Wind Ensemble and the Musashino Academy of Music Wind Ensemble.
Opening with gentle waves of woodwind oscillations and building to powerfully repetitive arpeggios near the end, this fanfare for wind band takes two main ideas as themes: Pulse (Myaku, in Japanese), and the number 7 (from the 7 decades the Musashino Academy is celebrating). The pulses occur on many levels, often as groups of seven evenly spaced articulations, but also as rhythmic underpinnings. Working the number seven into the fanfare in various ways accounts for the tempo markings of 140, 160, and 77.
The principal musical motive is a four-note subset of a pentatonic scale: A, B, D, and E. There is also extensive use of diatonic clusters (built by stacking up transpositions of the above motive) and the ascending melodic minor scale.
Myaku is dedicated to Ray Cramer, (former) Director of Bands at Indiana University and tireless supporter of contemporary music for wind band. I send the fanfare to the Musashino Academy with best wishes for another 7 decades of fine music making.
Klavier K 11110 Convergence
UNT Wind Symphony, Eugene Corporon
6537-MCD (Mark Records) Beyond the Red Line
Ithaca College Wind Ensemble, Stephen Peterson
Sony SRCR 2538
Musashino Academy of Music, Ray Cramer
Flute 1, 2
Oboe 1, 2
Bassoon 1, 2
Bb Clarinet 1, 2, 3
Bb Bass Clarinet
Eb Alto Saxophone 1, 2
Bb Tenor Saxophone
Eb Baritone Saxophone
Bb Trumpet 1, 2, 3, 4
F Horn 1, 2, 3, 4
Trombone 1, 2
Euphonium 1, 2
1: Vibraphone, Crash Cymbals, Bass Drum (shared w/ Perc. 4)
2: Marimba, small Suspended Cymbal
3: Glockenspiel, Xylophone, Snare Drum, large Suspended Cymbal, Tubular Chimes (w/ Perc. 4)
4: Tubular Chimes (w/ Perc. 3), 4 Tom-toms, Bass Drum (shared w/ Perc. 1)
String Bass (optional)