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ahalugisdi unole (to quiet the wind)

for bassoon and digital sounds

Thomas J Dempster

Copyright Š 2014 Thomas J Dempster


Please report all performances to BMI (Broadcast Music, Incorporated). www.bmi.com Visit the composer’s website at www.thomasdempster.com


ahaulgisdi unole (to quiet the wind)

for bassoon and digital sounds

Thomas J Dempster

Copyright Š 2014 Thomas J Dempster West Columbia, SC


ahalugisdi unole (to quiet the wind) for bassoon and digital sounds January-February 2014, West Columbia, SC approximate performance duration: 10’15” for my wife

Program Notes Inspired by a painting by America Meredith, ahalugisdi unole – as a work of visual art – chronicles a small slice of imagined activity and movement within a patch of forest that may not last much longer. Taking inspiration from her Cherokee ancestry and the numerous folk tales that proliferate Cherokee heritage, Meredith’s painting displays a singing bear – at once quirky and majestic – nearly blending in with an affected woodgrain background. On the right hand side of the painting is a clenched fist with a bent wrist, suggesting a violence directed at the sounds and sights of nature, in a manner befitting a Terry Gilliam illustration, though the bent wrist suggests the human interloper will not make it out of the kerfuffle unscathed. Mankind wants to quash the voices of nature and silence it, if for nothing else, to end the inconvenience. Why else harm a singing bear? The bassoon plays numerous roles in the work, accompanied by and in dialogue with a rich array of digital sounds, all extracted from the bassoon. The live performer shifts from embodying the mystery and quiet grandeur of nature, to the mechanizations and rhythms of human interference, to the open, marvelous choirs of nature at greenest flush. The electronic sounds span from representing birds, frogs, humans, and the wind. Please visit America Meredith’s website and view her paintings and illustrations at www.ahalenia.com/america .

Performance Notes Time signatures: Except in places where it’s obviously rhythmically-propelled, time signatures are only really there for the ride. Rather than mark “senza misura” every time the music becomes “timeless” and X-ing out the time signature, those pesky meters stay put, because otherwise it becomes a little messy. (To assist in this, time signatures are not shown in the digital audio part.) Timings: The digital audio part has seven seconds of silence at the beginning of the file. You probably don’t want to change that. In the digital audio part, there are timings marked in boxes (e.g., T: 8:12) designating minutes:seconds since the beginning of the audio file. These are here for reference and rehearsal purposes, since I do not provide a click track. (Please contact me for practice hints or ideas. I’ll be happy to talk with you.) Accidentals: Accidentals carry only through the octave in which they appear and are canceled every measure or after each barline. Reinforcement of the bassoon: It may be necessary to mike the bassoon, particularly if the hall is bright or the projection of the instrument lacking. I suggest an Audio Technica AT 2020 or a comparable side-address largediaphragm cardioid mike. (Be careful about feedback!) The “Reverse Buzz:” Page 5, mm. 54-55: With the reed off, close your lips together just at the tip of the bocal opening, and suck in forcefully. This may take a little practice. Each inhalation should produce a short, largely-notsustainable smacking or buzzing sound, similar to a short burst through a trumpet mouthpiece. (The longest I can sustain a pitch is about 1.5”.) Finger the lowest Bb in order to obtain the most resonance, projection, and possible variation in pitch (since all resultant tones will be in the overtone series on that Bb).


Timbre-changing alternate fingerings: In measures 49-52 (at rehearsal E), measure 83, and in measures 117119 (at rehearsal I), multiple iterations of notes are to be timbrally-altered. •

In mm. 49-52, the A2 pitch class is altered by adding the pancake/E and/or G#/Ab keys. This is notated with diamond-head notation, where the low E filled diamond head means to depress (close) the pancake key, and the low G# filled diamond head means to depress the low G#/Ab key (RH pinky).

Similar notation is used in m. 83, where the E3 pitch class should be varied by use of the pancake, RH Ab, F, and Eb keys, singly or in combination.

In mm. 117-119, the high A / A4 pitch class is again notated such, where the low E as a filled diamond head refers again to the pancake key, and G# again to the RH5 G#/Ab key. (NB: My solo bassoon work synapse makes extensive use of timbre-swapping fingerings, in case you’re curious.) There are no other passages that call for timbre-changing alternate fingerings, but play around a little bit and let me know if you find something particularly kick-booty. (I will occasionally play with altering the F3 fingering, e.g.)

Please understand that these timbre-altering fingerings are notated in precisely the same way as multiphonics, but “timbre-changing alternate fingerings” and a dashed bracket are used to designate where these passages occur, as opposed to multiphonic passages, which are not marked differently in the score. Fermatas, dynamics, and other quirks: I admit to using fermatas with a wild and reckless abandon. Rather than have a different fermata for each kind of pause, I try to explicate a rough duration – e.g., “short” or 3” – for each. In places that are just before major landing points or rehearsal letters, fermatas are placed, more or less, to let the performer and digital audio “catch up” with each other. In places – particularly the very beginning and ending – where time is more liquid and not duly rhythmic, fermatas serve more as places to breathe. In general, time is pretty fluid throughout most of the piece; do familiarize yourself with the timings, major sonic events, and pace – that will help more than fermatas will. I do some occasional odd things with dynamic markings. For instance, mf+ means slightly louder or more robust than a plain mf but not as bold as a full forte. The familiar n. (niente) stands for practically inaudible or arising out of (or disappearing into) a sonic nothing. Other weird notational things are below with the multiphonics section. (I’m sorry there are so many notes!) Most all other relevant or important notes are in the score. Regarding the graphic notation in the digital audio part, I try to represent shape, direction, and, obviously, important “landings” and markers / moments as much as possible. I also try to visually represent textures, which is no mean feat, considering how Boulez-ian or Ferneyhough-esque it could potentially get. It may go without saying that the notated digital audio part really doesn’t (nor does it try to) capture everything going on in the background (or foreground), but that’s OK.


Multiphonics Fingerings / Notation On the left are suggested fingering combinations multiphonics, and on the right is the notation. A black/solid diamond notehead . I refer you to Jamie Sampson’s extremely useful book Contemporary Techniques for the Bassoon: Multiphonics in case you are curious about additional multiphonics. Please note that I only give sounding pitches below for a few of the multiphonics I request; otherwise, resulting pitches will be consistent from horn to horn and I’m not particularly concerned beyond texture or timbre about every partial sounded. I also notate some tremolos between some multiphonics fingerings, and occasionally ask for particular emphasized resultants or harmonics (especially with the lowest Bb multiphonic rumbles). Those specific cases are below. If for some reason a graphic doesn’t show a bass clef, assume there’s a bass clef. In all cases, a solid / filled diamond notehead means to close the hole or depress the key. An open / empty diamond notehead means to open the hole or release the key marked. (For example, if a low Bb is notated with an open diamond head on C3, your left hand ring finger should release. If low F is notated with a solid diamond head Bb2 [RH-thumb], the thumb should depress the RH Bb key. Got it?)

`!`@345|6&*9)P[] d saCXZ VfG|hJkl

`!`@#45|67*9)P[] d saCXZ VfG|hJkl

`!`@#4%|67*9)P[] d saCXZ VfG|hJkl

`!`@#4%|6&*9)P[] d saCXZ VfG|hJkl

Creates a rough approximation of a Db dominant-7th chord. Very slight pressure on reed.

Can produce numerous higher partials in low Bb’s overtone series, particular D 4 and G#↓ 4.

`!`@345|67*9)P[] d saCXZ VfG|hJkl

`!`@34%|6&*9)P[] d saCXZ VfG|hJkl

Gross and growly. Not likely to respond well unless you slur into it and/or attack at mf or louder.

`!`@#45|6&89)p[] d sacxz vfG|hjkl

`!`@#45|6&*9)P[] d sacxz vfG|Hjkl

Unstable. Only slurred into during the piece. Difficult to respond on its own. May need embouchureforward and slight pressure.


Multiphonic fingerings and notation explanations, continued

`!`@#45|67*9)p[} d sacxz vfG|hjkl

`!`@#45|67*9)p[] d sacxz vfG|hjkl

May need some slight pressure and an embouchureforward / more-reed-inthe-mouth approach.

`!`@345|6&*9)p[} d sacxz vfG|hjkl

Generally easy to respond but the addition of the pancake may stabilize it.

BUT WAIT – THERE’S MORE! This is a multiphonic tremolo. When you see this or things like this, rapidly tremolo between the three multiphonics. The desired result is a boisterous, wild growling noise, not unlike playing your bassoon through six distortion pedals. Continue the tremolo until the arrows or lines stop. An oft-repeated gesture, this is gentler version of the above. Here, vacillate between the Bb and one of the associated multiphonics (here, Bb + B [RH index]). Single tones will likely be produced until f dynamics are reached or additional multiphonics inserted. Desired effect is a fluffy, rubbery or congested sounding, but pure, tone or tone cluster resultant. Amidst the multiphonic, change the emobouchure just enough to produce the very sharp G# (7th partial of Bb1). Continue lifting/depressing LH ring finger to create a sense of vibrato or tremolo in the suspended partial. Let the multiphonic “collapse” back into its growl after a second or two. (This is a bear roaring, by the way.)

For those unfamiliar, this is “feather beaming,” a common contemporary technique. Basically, it means “start slow, get faster.” When many beams collapse into one beam, the reverse effect is desired: “start fast, get slower.” Occasionally, a feather beam may be lodged into one beat (or two) with a numeral overhead (5 or 6, eg) as a means to suggest that all five (or whatever) notes should be fit into its larger value, but to apply the same feather beam technique to accelerate or decelerate within the larger note duration. First performance: February 26, 2014, Fredericksburg, VA, Thomas Dempster, bassoon.


Need the digital audio file? Visit www.thomasdempster.com.


ahalugisdi unole (to quiet the wind)

Thomas J. Dempster (BMI)

scenes from nature for bassoon and electronic sounds

Ÿ

With a strange majesty...

?4 4

T: 0:00

Bassoon

Digital Sounds

&

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3"

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T: 0:07

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n.

b– b–

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# b ˙˙˙

b˙ b˙ b˙ >

T: 0:14

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˜

œ bœ

we ep

emphasize for 1"-2"

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Bsn.

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U

Œ

   bœ œ œ œ œ œ

5

F

    bœ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ f

T: 0:25

eep

j bœ bœ

zing

very short!

˜ 8 T: 0:33 ?     bœ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ

bœ bœ

emphasize for 1"-2"

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   œœœœœœ

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ad lib.

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? bœ bœ œ

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   œœœœœœ

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wild!

b œ

wild!

Copyright © 2014 Thomas J. Dempster

j bœ bœ

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ahalugisdi unole (to quiet the wind) 2

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12

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16

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3

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unrushed; relaxed

T: 1:11

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3

poco

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T: 1:28

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24

Bsn.

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T: 0:57

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ahalugisdi unole (to quiet the wind)

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T: 1:43

      

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30

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T: 2:00

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≈ bœ bœ

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ahalugisdi unole (to quiet the wind) 4

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b ˙ π

39

T: 2:32

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n.

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45

Bsn.

D Returning to flexibility...

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˙ k˙

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45

45

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œ                                                        

? E

Bsn.

In time. q = c 80

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49

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T: 3:06

b œ b œ

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Timbre-changing alternate fingerings

 

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51

Bsn.

51

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|

 

b œ ^^^^^^^^^^ Timbre-changing alternate fingerings

œ œ # œ œ # œ œ ˙ 6

≈ b   n  b  n  

|

˙

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Remove reed.

U 7"

pitched drums; out of time

Œ

j b n b b bœ pitched drums




ahalugisdi unole (to quiet the wind)

?

54

Bsn.

           ‰   

no more than 10 seconds

"Reverse Buzzing." (See performance notes.)ad lib.

& bœ

54

?

?

56

Bsn.

œ

ƒ

 





‰  # œ ~~~~~

~~~

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

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T: 3:27

take next tempo from "drums"

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 



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bouncy

T: 3:48

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56

&

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59

Bsn.

≈  

bœ œ

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59

&

?

? ≈ #œ

62

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62

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drums dissolve into textures...

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≈œœœ p

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ahalugisdi unole (to quiet the wind) 6

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64

Bsn.

64

&

moving forward...

b˙ p

T: 4:19

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

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j 

Ÿ~~~~~~ 5 ? 4 (O)   b . b œ ˙. f RH 2 (B)

69

&

œ bœ œ 44 5 œ bœ œ. œ F

b ˙ .. p

œ

5

œ #œ F+

b ˙

^j bœ bœ

b˙ b˙

boom.

69

Bsn.

F

NŸ~~~~~~ œ .. œ #œ ≈ RH 5 (A b)

?

?

73

Bsn.

bœ œ œ bœ œ F

Œ

5

73

&

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˙

b ˙ .. f

b œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ ‰ œ œ p

b b œœ ~~~~ ~~~~

o                                    J 

Pop!

Continue until gesture cuts you off

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77

Bsn.

b ˙ p

& b b œœ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

77

?

T: 4:55

MROWW


ahalugisdi unole (to quiet the wind)

?

81

Bsn.

81

&

7

5 Œ Œ 4 œ œ >œ œ . œ p P Coldly.

?

Bsn.

85

&

Bsn.

Timbre-changing alternate fingerings

|

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Awaking. q = c 84-88

œ œ ?3 4 bœ. œ bœ œ bœ p grazioso

90

&

?

b b œœ

T: 5:33

œ bœ bœ œ œ 4 b œ œ 4 bœ. œ bœ p

U

bœ  U bœ  bœ J

5 bœ œ œ œ 3 b œ 4 bœ. œ bœ œ 5 p

œ bœ œ b œ œ bœ œ bœ fading echoes

93

&

?

5

œ b b œœœ

echo arpeggios continue in background

3 4

T: 5:30

5 bœ œ œ œ 5 œ œ b œ œ . b œ b œ œ œ œ ? 44 J ≈ ‰ bœ œ œ œ bœ œ bœ œ b œ œ œ œ œ bœ œ 5 5 P P 5

93

Bsn.

7

   static  textures 

? G

3

sweep

? 85

U

44 r œ œœ ‰ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œœ œ œ œ œ- . œ œ œ œ  F 5

4 4


ahalugisdi unole (to quiet the wind) 8

bœ nœ. bœ œ nœ œ œ b œ J ≈ œœœ ? œ bœ œ bœ

œ.

95

Bsn.

95

&

F

6

F

6

?

Bsn.

œ œ 98 U ?3 R . ‰ Œ 4

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œ. bœ œ

103

?

Bsn.

bœ œ bœ f

6

œ

b˙ œ b œ œ

3 4

7

4 4

poco

f

˙

U

bœ. œ bœ œ

œ

molto esp.

 ‰ 

œ

œ bœ œ b˙ œ œ 3 3

       electric birds

>˙ b œ > œ b œ œj Jœ b œ Œ b œ œ œ œ bœ bœ F impassioned

œ- ˙

 

suddenly appear

bœ œ.

>œ œ œ bœ œ œ œ bœ 3 P

                          œ

œ. ? J ≈

108

œœ ˙ 3

103

&

Singing. Moved.

3

&

?

œ

textures become more magical and pitch-filled

98

Bsn.

‰bœ œ bœ œ

œ bœ œ

œ bœ. œ. œ œ œ œ

ƒ

˙

bœ 

œ J‰Œ

U

Œ

f

T: 6:42

108

&  bœ ?  bœ

œ^ .œ œ. œ. œ. œ. œ. œ. œ. œ. ≈≈

H In motion. q = c 84

sw e

ep

œ




ahalugisdi unole (to quiet the wind)

œ. œ. œ. œ. œ. ? ≈ œ. œ. œ. ≈ œ. ≈ œ.

œ œ

ΠF

112

Bsn.

œ. œ

9

œ œ

112

&

^ œ œ . œ^ œ œ #œ œ œ ˘ bœ J ≈ ≈ bœ œ œ ≈ œ œ bœ P

 ?                                          

Bsn.

U b œ n œ >˙ . b œ œ bœ œ œ œ œ œ 45 œ f P

                 ?          

115

&

I

Bsn.

U

Œ

U

Œ

4 4

T: 7:01

# œœ F œ

#œ #œ œ œ ≈ œ œ

œ œ œ >œ œ œ œ >œ œ œ n œ # œ œ œ œ >œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ >œ b >œ œ >œ b œ œ ?4 ≈ # 4  #  #  #  # Timbre-changing alternate fingerings

f

117

&

?

poco marcato

#œ #œ œ œ œ œ œ œ

alt. fing.

? >œ b œ ‰

119

Bsn.

œ J ‰

^ œ^ 115 b œ ? b >œ œ b œ n œ ‰ ≈

119

&

?

16th-note pulse continues in "drums" with these approximate pitches (occasional 16th note may be missing)

>œ œ œ bœ bœ nœ bœ œ

N >œ œ œ >œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ >œ œ . |

f

 #

#

sploomisplursh!

Œ œ >

3

 




ahalugisdi unole (to quiet the wind) 10

? œ . œ œ U

possible

121

Bsn.

 b    Œ œœœœœœœœ growling...

T: 7:20

121

&

      

          

?

?

  J

125

Bsn.

pressing ahead - dialogic

125

&

 b    Œ œœœœœœœœ

growling...

˙ ˙

honk

b œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ Œ growling...

b œ b œ b œ ‰ ‰

dry

3

œ œ # œ ˙ b˙ #˙ n˙ j 2 4 J ‰ 4 ‰ #œ œ œ ‰ 4 ‰ < œ #œ œ œ œ œ p f < < F

T: 7:25



?

FWOOMSH



> > ˙ ? # œ œ œ œ œ œ œ . ≈ œ œ œ œ N œ œ œJ . ≈ # œ œ œ œ œ œ # œ œ œ N œ œ œ œ œ ˙ ˙ ˙ Œ J < F F

130

Bsn.

Δ Δ ≈Δ ≈ vv v 5

130

&

?



boom.



 

j .

 

,. œ œ. œ # œ b œ œ œ # œ œ œ  ? œ œ. œ. ≈ œ œ œ œ œ N œ œ< œ œ< J 5 5

134

Bsn.

5

œ œ œ œ œ œ Œ #œ œ œ <

T: 7:43 134

&

?

  

"drums" more audible

#œ #œ œ œ ≈ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ

16th-note pulse continues in "drums" with these approximate pitches (occasional 16th note may be missing)


ahalugisdi unole (to quiet the wind)

 œœœ œ œ  œ œ œ ? #œ œ J‰

137

Bsn.

?

. œ. œ. œ. œ. . . œ . . # œ 4 œ œ œ. œ b œ œ ‰ œ œ 43 œ. œ b œ œ œ ‰ # œ œ 4 . R œ œ œ.

11

T: 7:52 (approx)

137

&

K

16th-note pulse continues in "drums" with these approximate pitches (occasional 16th note may be missing)

The textures continue to become more harried and active, beyond the scope of what crude Paintshop Drawings and lines can feasibly or possibly represent. Just go with it until the giant explosion at 8'12".

Also, being 100% in sync with the "drums" 100% of the time is not only undesired, it can also become downright impractical. Just shred, bro. Shred.

œœœ œ œ œ œ ? 44 œ œ œ # œ œ F marcato

140

Bsn.

140

œ œ œ œ œ- œ œ#œ R ‰.

œ œ œ #œ œ #œ œ œ œ œ œ #œ

B

f

F

T: 7:56

&

?

14 equally-spaced low-pitch thuds lead to the climax...

b >œ œ >œ œ . bœ bœ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ - b >œ œ >œ b >œ œ >œ œ œ œ œ J ≈ 4 B J ‰ 2 4 4 f F f

143

Bsn.

143

&

?

b ˙ U˙ b œ b œ œ œ Uœ . B J ≈Œ

146

Bsn.

f

146

&

?

L

N˙ 

T: 8:12

˙

œ

Œ 


ahalugisdi unole (to quiet the wind) 12

B

153

Bsn.

153

&

?

159

Bsn.

5

˙ ˙ bœ œ œ

p

≈œ

3

œ n œ .. U˙ U Œ

bœ œ b˙

F

doloroso

timid electric birds gradually appear

˙

b b œ- œ

œ œ œ œ œ. œ 54 œ œ J

U

Œ

3

cantando

T: 8:45

? Birds.

?

162

Bsn.

162

&

?

Bsn.

b b œ

|

b ˙ >

œ >#œ 

b b œ œ

œ œ œ 5 4 P

bœ bœ

|

œ œ œ- .. œ œœ œ œ 4 J ≈ 4 b ˙ œ 3 3 p F

œ œ œ œ. œ J 3

bœ nœ bœ nœ bœ nœ bœ nœ bœ nœ bœ nœ bœ 5

5

166

&   

     

5

- œ b œ Uœ ˙ œ œ œ b œ . # œ œ œ 166 œ œœ œ œ œ œ ?  J ≈ 45 R b˙ 3 5 p f ?

U

b˙ n˙

      static  textures  Birds.

44 œ œ œ . ˙ P5

159

&

U

F b b œ ....

(silence)

continues to taper

? œ œ œ. œ

?

U

Œ Œ

U

Œ Œ

œ. 44 J ≈ Œ 

^j

T: 9:36

b b œœœ

b œœ^ j œ bœ

bœ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ 3

5


ahalugisdi unole (to quiet the wind)

Ÿ

M

Bsn.

?

170

p

&

?

?

174

Bsn.

    bœ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ ˙ ?

T: 9:41

b˙ wild!

˙

U

   ‰ bœ œ œ œ œ œ

    bœ F > bœ bœ ◊

Ÿ      p bœ œ œ œ

U 3"

j Œ b œ-

13

&

˜ f ≈.     bœ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ

˙

emphasize for 1"-2"

wild!

 œœ

174

&

textures dissolve. ad lib timing.

?

U

?       bœ bœ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ

177

Bsn.

n.

177

&

?

 T: 10:16 (approx)

n.

Feb 18 2014 // June 15 2014 West Columbia, SC

ahalugisdi unole (to quiet the wind)  

chamber work for bassoon and pre-recorded sounds

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