downside-up for winds and percussion
Joining the consortium behind the commission of downside-up entitles you to the following benefits:
- A score and full parts to the completed piece.
- You and your school/organization will be permanently listed as ensemble commissioners in the score.
- You and your school/organization will have initial performance rights to the piece through December 2016, at which time the piece will go on sale to the general public.
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The music of William Pitts is full of excitement and enthusiasm, often combining agile rhythms with a bold palette of colors and soaring, joyful melodic lines. downside-up, a work commissioned by a consortium led by Collins Hill and Mill Creek High Schools and dedicated to Mr. Daniel Treuman, is in this vein from start to finish. The wind band version of the work is an expanded arrangement of a 2009 work of the same name for clarinet and string quartet that Mr. Pitts composed as a student at Emory University. Regarding the optimistic ebullience of the work, the composer says the following:
“Today, optimism is one of the few human attributes that prevails in the midst of a world full of bad news. I have learned that if I try to find the positive among all of the negatives, I have a greater sense of fulfillment. These enthusiastic ideas permeate my music as well. downside-up was written as a musical outcry of ‘positivity.’”
The work opens with a quasi-aleatoric introduction that presents some of the motivic content that drives the bulk of the piece, with rising gestures in the clarinets accompanied by lush harmonies and a vibrant array of percussion colors. From there, the piece rockets forward with a constant rhythmic percolation. The remainder of the work breaks up into three major sections. First, a lithe and bubbly exposition with unpredictable metric shifts that is immediately followed by a more pensive development incited by an insistent percussion ostinato. The work’s recapitulation harkens back to the primary material, but with the order of events largely reversed (truly downside-up) to conclude with a brilliantly exuberant expansion of the first theme.
Program note by Jake Wallace