Tara Winds has long been a favorite band of mine. When asked to composer a piece for them for Midwest, I was excited to do so.
That is I was excited about it until I had the "What do you want the piece to be" discussion with its Conductor, Andrea DeRenzis Strauss. Music is very hard to put into words. For years I have had difficulty explaining and asking about particulars when dealing with other composers, directors, producers, film makers and band directors
Now, anybody that knows Andrea will understand exactly what I am saying when I say she told me precisely what the piece was supposed to be; Beginning, ending and everything in between. Not just technically either, musically as well. The list was long and detailed and when I hung up the phone after our conversation I told myself, I have no idea what on earth this is going to sound like but she seems confident so what the heck, lets get this done!
Fast - check. Loads of woodwind runs with particular attention (torture) to the Bb clarinet section - check. Lots of dynamics - check. An ending with madness over the top of a chorale setting - check. Oh, and it should start off like Armageddon - check. Do whatever you want in the middle that's nice - check. And that's all folks. Enjoy the wild ride and pay particular attention to the clarinet section because their fingers will be just flyin'!