Flight for Freedom
By Ian Evans Guthrie
Add some color to your program with Ian Guthrie's latest work for band, featuring eight distinct percussion parts! Guthrie's intense rhythmic percussion writing melds with brass textures and agile woodwind lines to not only convey the struggles of life's challenges, but the pride and fulfillment of overcoming them!
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AUDIO & SCORE
FROM THE COMPOSER
Clarinet in Bb 1
Clarinet in Bb 2
Contra Alto Clarinet
Horn in F 1
Horn in F 2
Trumpet in Bb 1
Trumpet in Bb 2
Trumpet in Bb 3
Temple Blocks (5)
This work was commissioned by the Mile High Freedom Band, and was proposed based on their planned 2021 program “Soaring,” which, at the time of the commission (and through most of the composition process) was perhaps the most ironic concert program for the times. Thus, I wanted to create a work that was incredibly accessible, challenging, engaging, and uplifting, one that could engage all orientations, excite the afflicted, educate the youth, and entertain the masses. Yet the hope we all desire is not one that always comes easily, but only through constant perseverance. Thus, the piece begins with many sighing motives, powerful attacks, languishing melodies, all leading to glorious rainbows of arched melodies declaring a final victory.
This idea became the perfect fit for the Mile High Freedom Band. When the director informed me that they had nearly 100 players—including eight percussionists — I knew that the struggle for victory would be heard not only a mile high, but a mile away. The hope and triumph portrayed in this work is of the most rewarding kind, one that is to engage all people at the deepest level, a global message for a world far exceeding the hundred or so performers in the ensemble. With every day bringing new hopes and challenges, we need all available persons to exhort others to persevere, especially when they are not aware of these possibilities. The mission of this work, just like the mission of the Mile High Freedom Band, is “to engage, excite, educate, and entertain” a spirit of change, vocation, preservation, and transcendence in its audiences, and I hope it does exactly that for you.
Percussion cutoffs will be indicated by staccato marks or the term "dampen." If a single staccato note is seen on a multiphonic instrument, dampen all of the pitches, bars, heads, or other resonating materials.
Some instruments (like the Timpani and Bass Drum) should be dampened automatically at any rest unless there is an open tie. On the other hand, due to the conspicuous, long decays of the tam-tam, cymbal, and similar instruments, the term "dampen" will always appear as a courtesy.
Percussion 6 (Triangle, high and low Cowbells) utilizes the symbols "+" and "o". In the triangle part, let everything ring unless a "+" appears over the note, which means to mute the triangle, or if the term "dampen" appears after a certain note, in which it is to be dampened after the duration of the indicated note. For the cowbells, "o" denotes striking the open end, while "+" denotes striking the closed end.