The Forest of Dreams – Part 1

Over the course of the past year, I have undertaken a huge project.  After completing the initial phase of my website, and the first volume of my comprehensive textbook on band orchestration, I set out to put theory to practice.  As such, I am in the final stages of composing my massive second symphony “The Forest of Dreams.”  In this piece, I put together every technique I’ve written about over the course of the past five years.

The genesis of this project was nearly 20 years ago.  When I first knew I wanted to be a composer, my thoughts were immediately drawn to the form of the symphony.  To me, the symphony is the pinnacle of serious music composition.  As Mahler once said, “The symphony must be like the world.  It must contain everything.” Continue reading “The Forest of Dreams – Part 1”

Omni Exeunt in Mysterium

In late 2015, I was watching an interview with the magician Teller of Penn & Teller.  Despite being the silent half of the duo, he’s surprisingly eloquent, having been a teacher Latin and Greek teacher before becoming a magician.  In this interview, he talked about a Latin phrase that is key to his understanding of the art of magic: Omnia exeunt in mysterium – all things fade into mystery.  This idea stuck me as being beautifully musical.

The philosophy is one that is pertinent to a Medieval way of life.  Their view is that everything in the world is devolving from an initial state of perfection into one of chaos.  This is also the world view of the author J.R.R. Tolkien who expressed it beautifully in his Silmarillion.

While I don’t personally ascribe to the concept, the range of possibilities grabbed hold of me, and I began to write.

It had been several years since I had completed a full piece.  I had taken some different avenues in my life that led me away from being a composer.  However, starting to work on the bandestration site began to focus me.  This is the first fully mature work I’ve composed, and the first to be written after undertaking the massive project of creating a full orchestration and instrumentation text.  It is a product of what I am calling my neo-impressionist style.Omni exeunt in mysterium

Omnia is scored for:

  • 4 C Flutes
  • 2 Oboes
  • Alto Oboe
  • 4 B-flat Clarinets
  • F Alto Clarinet (alt. E-flat Alto Clarinet)
  • 2 Bass Clarinets
  • Contrabass Clarinet
  • 2 Alto Saxophones
  • Tenor Saxophone
  • Baritone Saxophone
  • 2 Bassoons
  • Contrabassoon
  • 4 F Horns
  • 2 C Trumpets
  • 3 Tenor Trombones
  • Bass Trombone
  • 2 Flügelhorns
  • Tenor Tuba
  • Contrabass Tuba
  • Timpani
  • Glockenspiel/Xylophone
  • Percussion
    • Triangle, Small Tam-Tam, Large Tam-Tam, Bass Drum, Cymbals