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Instrumentation: Wind ensemble
Note to the Performer
While being mostly half and whole notes, this work can be extremely challenging. Because of the wide spacing of perfect intervals at exposed moments between instruments of different families, the ensemble must have an acute sense of intonation in order to have a pleasing performance. Also, in order for this composition to be effective, it must be noted that the climax of the music is intended to be at mm. 21 and not at the very end. It cannot be stressed enough how massive the sound of the bass drums need to be at that moment. If a cannon were practical I would have notated for that to be used as well (if you're able to use one, feel free). By climax, I mean to say what will be perceived as the loudest and most exciting moment for the average listener. After this happens, the rest of the work is to sound so other-worldly that the strangeness causes discomfort and awe. The end can be taken as a climax of emotion and the other a climax of power.
This is a programatic work based on the text of Exodus 33:18-21 in which Moses said to God “Now show me your glory.” God proceeded to hide Moses in the cleft of a rock, put His hand over Moses as He passed, and then allow Moses see His back. The sound in the beginning depicts a distant radiance as the Almighty approached. When the sound becomes as big and radiant as possible, the massive bass drum hit is the hand of God coming down to hide Moses in the rock. This is followed by the full radiance of God seeping through the cracks between God's hand and the rock as He passes by. At last, the end of the piece depicts God lifting his hand from the rock and letting Moses see His back. It would be an other-worldly and terrifying experience to perceive the holiness of God in this way.