Page 1

the bunyip for alto saxophone and fixed-media electronic sounds

Thomas J Dempster

Copyright Š 2014 Thomas J Dempster (BMI) :: All Rights Reserved www.thomasdempster.com :: tom@thomasdempster.com West Columbia, SC


the bunyip a folktale retelling for alto saxophone and fixed-media electronic sounds

Thomas J Dempster Copyright Š 2014 Thomas J Dempster (BMI) :: All Rights Reserved www.thomasdempster.com :: tom@thomasdempster.com West Columbia, SC


For Russell Thorpe, my jati brother, slayer of evils, real and mythic. Program Notes Across the first-nations people of Australia, in Wemba Wemba and other languages across the continent, the bunyip stirred fears and imaginations for centuries before the first white colonizers arrived. While generally bunjil could mean any sort of mean spirit or devil, the bunyip, as the story goes, was a foul, large beast – variously some sort of great cat that also had qualities of dogs, rabbits, and kangaroos. It lurked and skulked in billabongs and along riversides and had a rather impressive appetite. Hapless human wanderers would unwittingly sate that appetite, and, as the stories go, the bunyip was a voracious eater. And yet, no one has ever really seen a bunyip. Occupying a position alongside North America’s Sasquatch or South Asia’s Yeti, its noted features from reputed sightings run the gamut from the creature having a duck bill or a platypus face, to eyes and a screech like a bittern, to fangs like a tiger to a face like a dog. Rather than a real beast – or even a mythic one – it could very well, this bunyip, be the cultural memory of a species long forgotten, one long extinct, despite the occasional “finds” by “men of science” in Australia as early as 1818. Perhaps the concept of the bunyip is a cautionary tale: do not disturb nature, do not purposefully seek out and rouse it… For, indeed there are consequences… In this piece, the saxophone takes multiple roles: that of the hapless wanderer drifting too close; the bunyip – unleashing shrill cries at the beginning of the work; elements of nature (wind and rustle of leaves); and, an unseen narrator. The drama unfolds as a young person strays too close, innocently wandering, and, with his human affectation of song, accidentally wakes up the hungry beast. A chase ensues, and then a quick dinner for one… The fixed media accompaniment serves as both atmosphere and commentary in our grim tale, and enters into repartee with the saxophone extensively. Performance Notes / Explanatory Notes Total duration of the work is approximately 8’25” – the digital audio plays without pause. Timings (for player-file synchronization) for the digital audio file appear in boxes, corresponding with rehearsal letters and/or major events in the work. Page 3: circled 8 and 9 refer to multiphonics found in the alto saxophone section of Kientzy’s Les Sons Multiples aux Saxophones. Fingerings are (for 8) 123 C1 Bb || 456; and (for 9) 123 C1 Bb || 456 Eb. These are somewhat unstable multiphonics if the performer uses harder reeds; if they are unproducible for you (or you know of better ones), please ensure the written B and Bb are somehow sounded to complete the chromatic descent. Some performers find it useful to perform the entire work on a jazz mouthpiece, or (on classical mouthpieces) growl an indeterminate pitch while playing the written B and Bb. At rehearsal letter M (through to N), there are falls/glisses designated for the sax part. While I would prefer these to be nasty bends akin to shrieking and screaming, I understand a few of the pitches pose some problems. A quick chromatic fall coupled with a pretty nasal tone will do, particularly if that’s easier to execute.


At the bottom of page 7 is some unstemmed notation for the sax. These gestures should be played as quickly as possible, and accuracy is merely a suggestion. By contrast, stemmed gestures (marked “rapidly; struggling to escape”) should be highly pitch-accurate, but the gestures should be played as close together as possible. The quarter rests are basically spacers for the gnarly teeth of the bunyip. On page 2, there is an abundance of key clicking and blowing-through-without-mouthpiece. Where noteheads are full / normal, these pitches should be fingered. X noteheads are range suggestions for key-clicks. At measure 11, the first blow-through-and-key-click moment, if may be helpful to buzz if you feel your breath sound is masked by the key clicking. (You may also elect to do this at “violently!” at the bottom of the page.) Dashed slurs designate blown-through passages to be untongued. A general statement about timings: despite the digital audio being “fixed,” there is at least a little leeway. I have placed in the digital audio part a series of textures, gestures, and otherwise, designated by shapes, lines, and illustrations (in addition to timings for rehearsal). Very important cues are given definite pitches, and most bear dynamics or articulations. The flexibility comes within sections (particularly early and late in the piece) between rehearsal letters. Coordination and 100% synchronicity between the sax and digital audio (between rehearsal letters or given timings) is not always expected, nor is it necessarily warranted all the time, particularly when the saxophone is playing more “soloistic” passages. However, arrivals should be well-coordinated. The Plot of Our Sad Tale A young man is told of a wild beast by an elder at the beginning of our journey: a wild beast with jaws like a panther, a snarl like a wild dog, claws like a hawk, ears like a rabbit… Our young man finds this particularly hootworthy and decides to wander, alone, into the bush to play, walking away from the elder as the elder shouts his warnings. Meanwhile, in a billabong, the bunyip stirs, deep aslumber; his belly begins to bubble with hunger. The young man reaches a bluff and sees the majesty of the world, the wind blowing, the sun alight on his face. “One day,” he thinks, “I will rule this all, and I will do to it as I please. I will clear the creeks of their tangles and move the water to our farms. I will move all the beasts into a pen and use them how I wish. I will build new cities and no one shall stop me.” Something in the bush stirs. Startled, he remembers the old man’s warning about the bunyip. He laughs it off, nervously. He proceeds to wander through the bush, slowly swiping his machete at vines, humming some naïve tunes as he marks his path back to the village. Again, something stirs and rumbles in the distance. Stopped in his tracks, the boy whistles a happy melody to himself to calm down. This, unfortunately, wakes the groggy, ravenous bunyip from the depths of his pool. He emerges slowly, from torpor to anger, one ear, then another, one eye, than another, one tooth, then another, then another, then another, then another… The boy, terrified, scrambles and runs, tripping, and falling, finding no refuge. The bunyip ultimately catches up with him, bats him with his mighty paws, and tosses him into his jaws. Four mighty crunches, a gulp, and a burp. In the belly of the bunyip and in the ears of the villagers ring the last echoes of the warning, of the fable, of the futile screams. The bunyip, momentarily sated, beds down for a nap. But he will again wake up, even hungrier…


the bunyip a folktale retelling for alto saxophone and digital sounds

Transposed Score

Explosive q = 52

&

Alto Sax.

K œ nœ Kœ nœ kœ nœ Kœ nœ ƒ

^ & œj ƒ

A. Sx.

T: 0:20

Å∑

10"

&

˙ P

Audio

Å∑

&

?

0:30

10"

6

A. Sx.

œ œ

6 œ œ œ œ œ. œ bœ œ œ #œ nœ œ 7

? ~~~~~~~ ~~ ~~~~ Drum taper. E, G swells.

Audio

Calm; suspended. (q = 52) j j œ œ

j // /

j // /

9

metal chunks

/// ///

‰  Î

bœ bœ œ nœ bœ nœ œ #œ nœ p-P

‰ 

 J j  &P

Glass.

?

Key clicks...

- œ # œ œ œ #œ #œ #œ nœ

œ@ œ@ f

œ

9

‰

œ n.

––– p

œ œ nœ œ#œ #œ nœ œ œ œ nœ #œ 9

 œ k œ n œ # œ œ # œ œ . ~~~ œ œ œ.  R ‰. 5 5 

j ≈ #œ nœ œ #œnœ œ. f dim.

glassy slow glissandi and sweeps

Poco vivo; bubbling. (e = 120)

Č

6"

?

Sax echoes.

THUMP!

A

Č

œ #œ œ œ b œ b œ #œ œ œbœ # œ J P v

T: 0:00

Digtal Sounds

nœ kœ nœ Kœ kœ nœ Kœ nœ

4"

Thomas J Dempster

U

3"

9

9

œ œ œ bœ œ nœ #œ nœ bœ œ œ #œ

≈Œ

poco sotto voce

1:02

rattle

Bubrling, shifting. Something deep beneath stirs.

Copyright © 2014 Thomas J Dempster

&


2 B

A. Sx.

the bunyip

U ˙

T: 1:11

3"

Audio

˙

the earth yawns

n.

f

&

p

œ R ‰.

Remove mouthpiece.

Å∑ 6"

# œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ U2" Œ

œ œb œ œ œ . œœ 5 5

echoes

f

Blow through horn without mouthpiece. n.

n.

bœ bœ

bœ bœ

A. Sx.

Audio

&

&

              b              blow through AND key-click n. n. f

œœ

A. Sx.

& ‰       j Œ

&

rattles, dust, motes of history

Audio

   

Œ

marcato

blow through AND key-click

ƒ possible

ÿ

ÿ ÿ ÿ

metallic gesture

Œ

 Œ  P legato

blow through; ad lib

gliss/sweep

1:22

14

ÿ

gliss/sweep

ad lib. 11

n.

œœ

1:33

œ



sand/rattles/jitters

j @ @

electro-sizzle

Q

Bass tone

- 8" violently! 6"Ä    Œ ˙ ˙ 

ƒ

Mouthpiece ON.

1:54

œœ œ œœœœ œœ œ œœœœ œœ œ œœœœ

12 unevenly spaced "fwooms"

œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ


the bunyip C

A. Sx.

Audio

&

q = 70+

œk œ nœ Kœ n œ Kœ

ƒ

j  & ?œ #œ fJ

Audio

‰n K n k n μ n B n œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ

^ n œ^ . # œ ‰ ‰ Œ &

A. Sx.

Audio

F

5

P

...tapering...

Å∑

rŒ n ƒ

~ 6"

slap!

~~ ~~?  U ~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ ~ œ ‰ ~~~~~~~~~ J ~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~ ~~~~~~~

oes ech

"fwoom"

# œ .. n œ œ œ œ œ . #œ & # œj # œ œ œ . n œ œ #œ P f

?

5

7

See performance notes.

‰ k œœ œœ œœ bB œœ .. œœ Œ J p-P 5 9

8

...tapering...

echoes

Echoes, etc.

Sax echoes.

24

5

Kn B μ K n œ œ œ œœœœœœœœœœ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ

D

5

5



œ J

"fwoom"

Naive, unaware e = 66 + (*

œ # œ œ œ n œ- ‰ . # œ # œ œ œ œ n œF P

j nœ

œ

œ

T: 2:23 "fwoom"

Various wailings and textures fade away through til E.

j œ

.. , œ œ œ œ # œ #œ œ #œ #œ n œ‰ J

F

5

œ

œ œ. ≈ #œ > J > 3

"fwoom"

J

~~~

&

# œ^ n œ^ b œ^ μ œ n œ œ^ μ œ n œ ‰. R ‰. Œ R ‰. ‰

T: 2:02

20

A. Sx.

k œ n œ k œ n œ K œ b œ n œ K œ n œ U2" ‰ ≈ ‰ Œ

3

ƒ

P



œ J

"fwoom"

œ

"fwoom"

J

J

œ # œ n œ œ # œ n œ- œ œ

F

5

r5 œ- œ #œ œ

3

*) -- "Fwooms" do not regularly appear on beats and exact coordination between the sax and the audio at this point is not necessary. Between rehearsal D and E, there are six total fwooms. Rushing in this section is ill-advised.



"fwoom"

œ J


4

& ≈ œ b œ œ b œ œ n œ . # œ n œ- œ Œ P

27

A. Sx.

Audio

3

?

E

3

2:55

b œ ..

the bunyip Freely. Singing. Nervously casual. F

Å∑

6"

something rumbling beyond the bend...

glassy textures

ôôôôô ôôôôôô

&

b œ œœ œ

b œ œ œœ œ œ œ rR bœ œ œ œ

The beast groans!

œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ Uœ

˙

Å∑

20"

p

^j –b–

œ œ #œ nœ œ ‰ J nœ P j bœ

# # œUœ # # œœ  bœ vJ slap!

T: 3:24

?

n.

slap!

, œ œ œ œ #œ œ œ- œ- œ œ œ # œ œ œ œ œ. ≈ ‰ J œ œ œ œ œ œ b œ œ # œ- œ ‰ œ œ œ œ A œ œJ . ≈ J & #œ aœ 5 3 P p F F 3 5 3:30

q = c 60

31

A. Sx.

Audio

A. Sx.

Audio

? b b œœœœœ

j bœ

"fwoom"

œ œ Nœ #œ œ œ. œ œ #œ. 34 œ œ. ≈ #œ &Œ J 5 f P ?

–––

3:47

# ˜˜˜ #˜

&

œ

j œ

b b œœœ œœ

œ œ œ #œ œ Œ #œ f 5

?

j #œ

j #œ

j #œ

n œ. n œ. n œ œ œ œ 3

bœ bœ

# œ .

œ œ. œ bœ  f 5


the bunyip

œœ œœ œ œ U b œ œ Œ  & F 6 4"

37

A. Sx.

Audio

? bœ bœ 40

A. Sx.

Audio

&

?

˙

p

b œœ J

chime, then bubbles

&

5

, œ œ# œ Å œ œ # œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œœ . #œ J ‰ œ œ b œ n œ œ œ #œ œ œ # œ œ œ œ #œ œ œ. 7 7  n. π 6 F G

Å

T: 4:04

7

6

?

textures continue, lightly...

2" b œ œ b œ œ  b œ . œ œ œ œ nœ œ œ œ #œ œ U    œ n œ œ #œ œ œ n œ ‰ J #œ nœ œ Œ 5  F F f

H

T: 4:20

j œ œ . ≈ #œ œ #œ nœ œ œ. ‰ π p œœ

Digital Silence. Play again once sounds have disappeared.

textures continue, lightly...

textures d isa

ppearing

n.

A. Sx.

Audio

b œ œ œ # œ œ œ œ œ b œ n œ b œ- n œ43 b œ (accelerate) œ œ bœ œ œ J & œ œ bœ œ œ #œ p π ?

# œŒ

n œŒ&

U-

(*

F

œ œ

j b œ ‰ u bœ bœ F

œ.

œœ

*) Hold until Eb chord/attack in digital audio. Don't arrive too late (or too early!)


6

A. Sx.

deliberately U b œ œ b œ . œ œ œ œ œ #œ œ 45 œ #œ œ œ Uœ Œ & 6 5 n. f

& bœ bœ

Audio

J

A. Sx.

Audio

œ œ #œ nœ n œ œ œ œ # œ #œ œ Œ œœœŒ &Œ nœ p P 6 6 œ#œœœœœ

T: 4:45

about 45"

Interlude.

it awakens, angered and with great hunger

œ

Familiar jitters.

A warning wail.

glassy textures

Bœ #œ

the creature is seen; terror takes hold; it starts to give chase Another wail.

Second growl.

First growl.

U

Nœ œ œ #œ œœœ‰ F

accel.

& bœ #œ Jv

I

œ #œ

With a growing unease q = 66+ T: ca. 5:33

the bunyip

3"

Third growl. Loudest. Get ready.

#œ œ œ nœ œ œ œ œ. œ œ #œ nœ ‰ J f f

K Anxious; unsteady q = 110+

T: 5:51

textures continue, gaining intensity

echoes

low

echoes

low

echo-whines

^ j ^j ^ œ^ # œ n œ # œ n œ ‰ Jœ œ . # œ # œ # œ n œ^ ^ ‰ œ œ œ # œ œ # œ # œ    ‰ ≈ œ œ œ ≈ œ #œ œ bœ œ ‰ œ œ ≈ œ œ œ ≈ œ . œ ‰ ≈ œ œ œ #œ nœ & > f P F F

57

A. Sx.

Audio

&

textures continue, gaining intensity ≈ 

 

     

  

 

 

≈ r‰   

16th-note pulse becomes more apparent in audio during previous few measures. Start trying to lock into pulse through this passage.

  

≈ 


the bunyip

7

œ^ œ^ ≈ œ^ # œ œ # œ^ ‰ n œ^ r r #œ nœ ^ œ^ ≈ œ^ .# œ ~~~ œ œ # œ . . . ≈ ≈ ‰ R Œ ‰ œ œ ≈ ≈œœœ≈ ‰ ≈ & ≈ œ bœ œ ‰ œ œ œ ‰ R ≈ R ƒ p F F f

U

61

A. Sx.

Audio

^j ≈ & bœ .

(short - take a breath)

^ ‰ . b œj

drums continue to increase in intensity and appearance

œ # >œ ˙ œ œ œ ≈ œ bœ # œ ~~~≈ œ œ ~~~≈ œ ~~ # œ ~~~ œ .~ ~ U œ œ œ # œ œ œ œ #œ œ ≈ J ≈ J ≈ Œ ≈ œ œ œ ≈ œ #œ & f F 

œ .. 

gliss / squawk

66

A. Sx.

^ & œ            f œJ 6:05

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sax and audio should be 16th-synched.

electro-jitters

"drums" on every 16th...

Audio

bœ œ œ œ œ œ nœ œ œ # œ Œ & f

continues...

rapidly

70

A. Sx.

Audio

&    

f

œ nœ œ

bœ nœ #œ nœ nœ œ #œ # œ n œ œ #œ

U

Œ

echo grains bœ

continues...

œ œ

œ

œ œ

œ œ

œ œ œ

œ œ

œ^ U œ^ U J ‰ J‰ ƒ ƒ œ œ œœ œ œ

œ

#œ œ

#œœ œ œ # œœ œ œ #œ


8

the bunyip

b œ œ^ œ œ #œ œ œ œ # œ #œ œ #œ Œ ‰ œ œ nœ #œ R ‰. Œ . ‰ & 6 7 7 5 f stumbling and falling; the creature fills its jaws In time. q = 108 +

L

A. Sx.

^ œ #œ œ ‰ #œ ≈ ≈ #œ ≈ œ œ ≈

T: 6:19

Audio

& # œ #œoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo       75

A. Sx.

Audio

&

?

œ

Œ

nœ bœ

Œ œ

 5 ≈ j      ~b œ Œ b œ . œ œ # œ n œ ~~~ f œ

Screaming for dear life.

j # œœ & œ       f  J T: 6:34

œ ~~~ # œ ~ ~ J ‰. R ‰

‰Œ ‰ jŒ bœ bœ œ œ ƒ tongue slaps

5

Drums disappearing...

...tapering...

...tapering...

# œ^ Œ JŒ 3 F

pleading.

œ~~ n œ . ~~~ # œ œ ~~~~ J ≈ J ≈ Œ R R

œ œ nœ œ #œ #œ nœ bœ œ ≈ ‰. R œ œ œ Œ P F

swell/gliss

&

œ œ #œ œ œ #œ nœ f+

Œ

œ œ #œ #œ nœ œ #œ

rapidly; struggling to escape

"drums" on every 16th...

Audio

7

7

continues...

flzg.

# œ ~~~ # œ # œ œ œ ~~~~~ ‰ J J Œ. & J‰≈ 5 f

M

A. Sx.

9

j #œ

continues...

Œ

?


82

A. Sx.

Audio

A. Sx.

&

œ #œ #œ nœ œ œ bœ

Œ

#œ œ nœ œ nœ

the bunyip

#œ œ #œ œ nœ #œ nœ œ

Œ

everything

^ # œ . œ ~~ œ^ # œ^ œ œ ~ ~~~ ~ ~~ 84 J J J Œ & ‰ ‰ ‰  ≈ ‰

U

the beast swallows

T: 6:53 CRUNCH! CRUNCH!

&

considerably

Audio

&

&

‰#œ 3

œ œœ

ŠŠʼn

j b œ œ œ 

œ œ

5

getting

about 45" *

Residues and echoes in the belly and in the ear.

œ.

O Echoes. This will happen again.

œ

π ** bœ

Prominent sax pitch held

T: 7:45

ÿ

œ œ Œ J

ÿÿ ÿ

electro-metal-gesture

œ œ. œ .. r œ œR .. r # œ œ # œ # œ J œ œ œ Œ Œ Œ Œ Œ Œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ 5 5 3 3 p-P p n.

textures continue, lightly...

quiet, rapid, echoic gestures

ƒ

CRUNCH!

jBig ol' slap!  œ œ

is quickly

q = c 60

N the beast burps

crazier

CRUNCH!

A. Sx.

Œ

drums continue to increase in intensity and appearance

&

91

# œ ~~~~ # œ ~ ~ ~ n œ ~~~ # œ ~ ~ JŒ JŒ JŒ JŒ ƒ

the beast chews

quick breaths -- rushed! no stopping!

3

Audio

Œ

#œ nœ œ

? b œ b œœœœ œ œœ œ œ œ

F

(reverb)

...tapering...

&

* saxophone may remove mouthpiece and blow/key click on p -- mp ranges through this section, but don't overdo it. ** poco espressivo - but never exceed mp marking. These are fragmentary residues.

 bœ F

b œ œ œ œ œ œ œœ œ œ (reverb)

9


10 95

A. Sx.

Audio

&

&

the bunyip

#œ. 5

œ

ad lib.

#œ ...tapering...

œ.

Å

œ œ k œ nœ K œ nœ œ K œ k œ nœ œ 5

textures disappearing

j œ

textures disappearing

‰ n.

Å∑

5" (or, if you've beaten the digital audio, wait for it to fade.)

n.

the bunyip  

work for alto saxophone and pre-recorded sounds

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you