- Phenomenon of Chance - 2006
One of my early works and the first concert band piece I ever wrote! Below the audio is my original “wordy” write-up about the piece. Please, don’t read it…
- completed February 18th, 2006
Phenomenon of Chance is a compilation of contrasting styles, and themes, each motive portraying a different type of risk that one may take.
The first motif begins with a dark trumpet fanfare, as if an omen that something bad is about to befall the person taking the risk. After the trumpet fanfare, the double basses and low brass enter with an augmented form of the fanfare with a slight variation, making it sound even darker than before. You hear the bass line again, four measures later, only now the full ensemble has entered and syncopations are added. The climax of part 1 is coming. The risk is about to turn disastrous! The whole ensemble builds to measure 47, then chaos erupts!!
There are an abundance of things going on now; three elements of which are scattered throughout the band. The upper woodwinds and the euphonium have the melody here and are constantly fighting the basses and trumpets for the limelight. The bass line foreshadows what is to come later in the piece; while the trumpets and french horn have a line that resembles a siren, both of them ultimately intensifying part one. Part 1 ends with the “terracing effect” (layered entrances) used both ways; going up and going down, modulating the piece to major. All of these things lead up to a big grandioso ending.
Part 2 is a beautiful, bittersweet melody, first introduced by the flute, with a few brass instruments supporting the motif. This part is nostalgic, in the sense that the person that took the risk, in part one is remembering what course they thought the risk would take. The person is so moved by this that he soon forgets about his troubles. After the flute solo ends, the clarinets come in with a counterpoint, and the french horn steals a variant of the melody. Soon after, the entire ensemble keeps the counterpoint going by building up to the statement of part 2. The person is abruptly snapped back into reality with a mysterious, driving two note motion within the double basses.
Part 3 is a tale of truly cataclysmic events. The trombones mimic the basses and seem to mock them with their own interpretation of the line. The saxes enter with a riff that was heard at the very beginning of the piece, but now it is a little jazzy, after which, the basses come in with the two note motion again with a meter change and a modulation from major to minor. The full band hits a nasty chord numerous times and then the sinister melody that was hinted by the bass line in part one is introduced by the french horn and trumpet. The risk has higher stakes and is now taking full effect; we are starting to see the risk in its entirety. The melody is covered up by a six bar transition that is the most wicked section of the entire piece. The transition leads us right back to a variation on the melody; however, now new sonorities have been added, building up to a suspension of the woodwinds, then a blast of the brass.
Part 4 is the last statement of the piece that brings all of my thoughts and ideas together in a very triumphant and majestic manner. Just when one thought that the risk would never change course it finally does. The dark trumpet fanfare is heard in a major mode under the melody from part 3 which is also in a major mode. The piece ends with the “terracing effect” and the full ensemble entering with the main melody from part two.