ensemble: chamber orchestra (184.108.40.206-220.127.116.11-hp.perc-strings)
duration: 10 minutes
written: spring 2014
written for: Atlantic Music Festival
recorded: July 23rd 2014, Waterville, ME
1491 is famously (in some cases infamously) the year before Columbus set foot in the New World, essentially ending centuries of native traditions established by the first inhabitants of the Americas. This piece is a rather short tone poem that illustrates the beauty of nature being taken over by force. The work was originally intended to be an opener for Dvorak’s New World Symphony and is, in essence, my take on the NEW WORLD. 1491 is not meant to be a direct retelling of the Columbus story, but the piece does depict two clear moods. The first, being the beauty of the land represented by mainly woodwinds and strings, the second, the destruction of beauty with the building of a new world represented by mostly brass and percussion. I use the numbers 1-4-9-1 as both a theme melodically (Do-Fa- Re-Do in solfege) and harmonically (chords based on the intervals 1-4-9 (2)- 1).
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