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I have created this site in order to provide performers, listeners and composers with a description of a composer's experiences with the creative process. The posts will provide discussions of the inspirations, challenges, and successes of a composer from the inception of the piece to the culmination in performance. I will provide a link to where you can see and hear the works in progress. Comments and questions are always welcomed. They will not posted unless you grant me permission.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Arizona Centennial Overture Completed

Last week I finished creating pdf files of all the scores and parts, made mp3 files of the audio playback of each version, and exported the Sibelius files for hearing the music played with MIDI instruments while the music scrolls across the screen. I put all this on a CD along with notes about the different versions and program notes and mailed it to the Arizona Commission on the Arts. Therefore, I have officially completed the terms of the commission.

I have also contacted the AZ Commission on the Arts asking whether they have thought about offering the premiere rights to a specific organization and whether they plan on tracking performances. I have not heard back from them yet regarding this. I would like to attend as many performances as possible and would also be interested in conducting the work. The time frame is that the music would be made available for free beginning July 2010 and performances will be scheduled between September 2011 and September 2012. The actual Arizona Centennial is February 14, 2012. So even though the creation of the piece is completed, my involvement in the project is just beginning.

I am including the program notes below so that my readers can have a summary of what I attempted to do to represent the culture and history of Arizona in this seven minute composition. It was a pleasure to have created this piece and I look forward to my future involvement in the project.

To see and hear what I have discussed, go to http://www.cooppress.net/aco_blog.html.

Dr. B

Arizona Centennial Overture

Sy Brandon

Program Notes

Arizona Centennial Overture was commissioned by the Arizona Commission on the Arts to help celebrate Arizona’s centennial. The overture pays tribute to the unique blend of the various cultures that had a part in shaping Arizona into what it is today. This six and a half minute composition is divided into three main sections.

The first section begins with fanfares that announce the celebration. After thirty seconds, the introduction fades into music that pays tribute to the pioneers that migrated to Arizona. The music has a rustic quality reflecting the pioneering spirit of the ranchers, farmers, miners, and merchants who came to Arizona seeking a better way of life. This section is intended to be inclusive as it is impossible to represent each culture individually in a short musical composition.

The second section pays tribute to the various Native American cultures that are a large part of Arizona’s history and its present way of life. Flutes and percussion instruments are used in the beginning of this section to represent the Native American respect for nature. This quiet section evolves into a ceremonial dance that increases in intensity. Towards the end of this section one hears fragments of the “pioneer” melody as these culture come together.

The third section is influenced by Mariachi music to recognize the Hispanic influence in Arizona. The first part uses an original rollicking tune with four beats to the measure over syncopation. The second part contains a lyrical melody with three beats to the measure accompanied by instruments playing accents that create the Hispanic sounding grouping of six notes into three groups of two alternating with two groups of three. A brief ending using the fanfares of celebration interspersed with figures from the Native American and pioneer sections brings the work to a rousing close.

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