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West Winds

for percussion ensemble
Level: Med-Easy
Duration: 4:00
Personnel: 9-10 players
Release Date: 2020
Product ID : TSPCE20-031
Price: $36.00
Item #: TSPCE20-031

Formats Available:


Description

Composed during the transition of spring to summer, Brian Blumes’s percussion ensemble piece West Winds is inspired by the mild and gentle winds that usher in a new season. In this piece, Blume utilizes different percussive effects like clusters of various wind chimes, mark trees, and suspended cymbals to create the illusion of wind sounds. As a contrast to this ambient and lyrical music, the piece also features a very deep groove with tom-toms and a djembe part creating rhythmic interest throughout. The timpani part is optional, making the piece performable by 9-10 players.

West Winds comes as a professionally printed and bound score and includes individual parts in PDF format for printing or for tablet viewing.

Instrumentation

Glockenspiel

Xylophone

Vibraphone

Marimba (low A)

4 timpani (optional)

Drums (djembe, 2 toms (medium & large), concert BD)

Cymbals & gongs (5 suspended cymbals (3 are optional)

Accessories (wind chimes, mark tree, tambourine)

Reviews

“West Winds” is inspired by the European tradition that associates winds from the west with positive changes in one’s life. This is reflected not only in the simple, uplifting melodies and harmonies used throughout the work, but also in circumstances in the composer’s life associated with moving to a new state and starting a new job.

The orchestration is neatly organized into keyboard percussion, timpani, and non-pitched percussion, allowing for participation from a wide variety of students. The keyboard percussion parts consist primarily of quarter and eighth notes, with occasional small groupings of patternistic sixteenths. At tempos of quarter note equaling 80 and 96, this should be achievable by younger students, especially as rhythms are often reinforced in other voices.

The most ear-catching passages include the use of a djembe. Blume does not dive too deeply in explaining sounds, but instead uses staff notation to indicate basic “edge,” “center,” and “slap” techniques. This is presumably to keep the part from becoming intimidating for less experienced players; however he states in the preface that players who are more comfortable with the instrument can improvise in various sections.

Percussion parts are largely eighth- and quarter-note based, with occasional sixteenth- note fragments that reinforce similar rhythms in the keyboard percussion voices.

Overall, this work would be appropriate for an advanced middle school, beginning high school, honor band percussion ensemble, or even a sight-reading session for a younger college group. The layers of security that the composer builds into the orchestration, along with the pleasant tonalities throughout, will provide a positive experience for all involved.

—Jason Baker
Percussive Notes
Vol. 59, No. 3, June 2021

Description

Composed during the transition of spring to summer, Brian Blumes’s percussion ensemble piece West Winds is inspired by the mild and gentle winds that usher in a new season. In this piece, Blume utilizes different percussive effects like clusters of various wind chimes, mark trees, and suspended cymbals to create the illusion of wind sounds. As a contrast to this ambient and lyrical music, the piece also features a very deep groove with tom-toms and a djembe part creating rhythmic interest throughout. The timpani part is optional, making the piece performable by 9-10 players.

West Winds comes as a professionally printed and bound score and includes individual parts in PDF format for printing or for tablet viewing.

Instrumentation

Glockenspiel

Xylophone

Vibraphone

Marimba (low A)

4 timpani (optional)

Drums (djembe, 2 toms (medium & large), concert BD)

Cymbals & gongs (5 suspended cymbals (3 are optional)

Accessories (wind chimes, mark tree, tambourine)

Reviews

“West Winds” is inspired by the European tradition that associates winds from the west with positive changes in one’s life. This is reflected not only in the simple, uplifting melodies and harmonies used throughout the work, but also in circumstances in the composer’s life associated with moving to a new state and starting a new job.

The orchestration is neatly organized into keyboard percussion, timpani, and non-pitched percussion, allowing for participation from a wide variety of students. The keyboard percussion parts consist primarily of quarter and eighth notes, with occasional small groupings of patternistic sixteenths. At tempos of quarter note equaling 80 and 96, this should be achievable by younger students, especially as rhythms are often reinforced in other voices.

The most ear-catching passages include the use of a djembe. Blume does not dive too deeply in explaining sounds, but instead uses staff notation to indicate basic “edge,” “center,” and “slap” techniques. This is presumably to keep the part from becoming intimidating for less experienced players; however he states in the preface that players who are more comfortable with the instrument can improvise in various sections.

Percussion parts are largely eighth- and quarter-note based, with occasional sixteenth- note fragments that reinforce similar rhythms in the keyboard percussion voices.

Overall, this work would be appropriate for an advanced middle school, beginning high school, honor band percussion ensemble, or even a sight-reading session for a younger college group. The layers of security that the composer builds into the orchestration, along with the pleasant tonalities throughout, will provide a positive experience for all involved.

—Jason Baker
Percussive Notes
Vol. 59, No. 3, June 2021



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