Dancing in the Shadows from Meditations & Reflections
Sunday Morning Music: Elephants Piss in Fear
The title of this movement from Time Grown Old – Images of the Mahabharata, that I composed back 1995, is a literal translation of an actual phrase from the Mahabharata. The entire four movements form a concerto for pipe organ, percussion, and electronic sound. This recording is me as organist, with the University of South Florida Percussion Ensemble, Robert McCormick, Director. It was recorded recorded at the Bayshore Baptist Church, Tampa, Florida.
To listen to today’s Sunday Morning Music, click HERE.
If you decide later you’d like to listen to all four movements, click HERE. Should you listen to the entire piece, please note that movement 2 begins EXTREMELY softly.
Busts made of cork spinning slowly through the air
(original hymns, anthems, solo keyboard pieces, hymn-tune settings). Because of the corona virus lockdown, I’ve been doing all those same things, but for online posts by Lakewood. If those interest you, you can hear those posts at https://lakewooducc.org/category/posts/music/.
I’ve decided to post some of those here: the ones that feature original content by me. This post was originally posted on March 29, 2020 at http://lakewooducc.org/2020/03/29/wendeyaho/.
Something different this morning! It’s not found in any hymnal although it should be; rather, it’s a Native American hymn traditionally sung to the four directions in the morning by the women of the community. The arrangements and orchestrations are my own. I’ve done several settings–orchestra, solo piano, and choir–the first two of which are presented here.
“Wendeyaho” is often described as a “Cherokee Morning Song.” However discussion of it on the Internet indicates that the word, “Wendeyaho,” is not contemporary Cherokee, although it may have its origins in an ancient form of the language. The translation I was able to piece together from various internet sources is as follows:
Translation – We n’ de ya ho
Freely translated: “A we n'” (I am),
“Yauh” –the– (Great Spirit),
“Ho” (it is so).
First, here is my orchestral arrangement.
And, here is the piano solo arrangement. Feel free to download the 2 page sheet music PDF from THIS LINK so you can play it at home, yourself. You need to do some tricky shifting of hands to cover all the parts in the last two variations, but it’s doable, I promise.
Score and reorchestration of The Geography of Dreams
I completely re-orchestrated The Geography of Dreams. I like it much better. It’s limited to strings & harp plus 3 solo woodwinds (flute, oboe, english horn) and 2 solo brass (horn & trumpet). I got a much better mix and mastering this time, too, I think (well…at least, I think I think…).
Here’s link for SoundCloud album: https://soundcloud.com/hilton-kean-jones/sets/the-geography-of-dreams.
As part of this re-orchestration I also finally (!!!) got the score done. For free download go to https://hiltonkeanjones.com/PDFs/The_Geography_of_Dreams.pdf, right-click and “save as…”
Score available for The Geography of Dreams (for symphony orchestra)
In my last post, I was able to present the score for one of my three most recent orchestral pieces. Tn this post I can announce that I’ve finished editing the score of the second of these. It can be downloaded (free) HERE.
The audio may be streamed (free) HERE (or use the player below). I strongly recommend listening on headphones or good speakers, not just tiny laptop speakers.
In my last post, I also talked a bit about the orchestra I find myself writing for. Basically, it’s solo woodwinds, solo and ensemble brass, at least 3 percussionists plus timpani, keyboard, and harp, plus–always–a full string section. However, in multi-movement compositions different movements use different subsets of that basic orchestration.
For instance, in The Geography of Dreams, you can compare the instrumentation among the movements from this list.
Mov. 1 – Dream of the City by the Sea and the Dark Castle Beyond Its Walls
Mov. 2 – Busts made of cork spinning slowly through the air
Mov. 3 – In the Hills Outside the City, the Old Man Sits by His Fire Conversing with the Forest Animals
english horn solo
Perc 1: Marimba
Perc 3: celeste
keyboard (“chiffy” organ sound)
Mov. 4 – Amidst The City’s Desolation The Anima Appears As A Woman Clothed In Radiant White
horn section & solo
Perc 1: tam-tam
Perc 2: grand casa
Perc 3: tubular bells
Mov. 5 – Twilight Peal in the City of Dreams
horns section (unison)
trumpet section (unison)
Score available for The Forest (for symphony orchestra)
I’m in the process of editing my three most recent orchestral pieces. I just finished editing the score of the first of these. It can be downloaded (free) HERE. The audio may be streamed (free) HERE (or use the player below). I strongly recommend listening on headphones or good speakers, not just tiny laptop speakers.
In retrospect–I didn’t do this intentionally, things just came out this way–I’ve noticed that the “orchestra,” for which I naturally tend to write, has the following characteristics:
- Normal string section;
- Far fewer woodwinds and brass which are used almost exclusively only in solo/soli writing;
- Expanded percussion/keyboard sections;
- Always harp but also sometimes other plucked instruments;
- Except for string section which seems to always be present in every movement, not all movements have same instrumentation, and some instruments might only be used in one or two movements.
For example, the instrumentation of this orchestral suite is as follows:
- Tubular bells
- Sistrum or tambourine (or any metal or bright sounding shaken instrument such as “egg” shaker)
- Anvil or brake drum
- Hand bells
- 6 large drums of varying sizes (in a pinch, roto-toms would do); notes immediately repeated should be of slightly different tonal inflection; the lowest 2 (or 3) drums may be of wood–at any rate, the lowest drums should be significantly lower than the upper 3
- Orchestra bells
- Dumbek or a similar, single drum that can create a variety of pitches and timbers.
Concerto for Piano and Orchestra
This concerto was composed in 1994 and slightly revised in 2015. It’s for piano and small orchestra (just piano, strings, and only 4 woodwinds–no brass, no percussion). The score is still being cleaned up but will eventually be available at hiltonkeanjones.com/music.
New movement added to The Golden Thread — Wendeyaho
I’ve added a movement to The Golden Thread, Wendeyaho.
Although the arrangement and orchestration is my own, the melodic source for this movement is a traditional Native American tune called “Wendeyaho” that is often described as a “Cherokee Morning Song.” However discussion of it on the Internet indicates that the word, “Wendeyaho,” is not Cherokee. For a full, and fascinating discussion of this, please see Why You Can’t Find “Wendeyaho” in a Cherokee Dictionary