Maelstrom (2012) for full orchestra - ca. 7'
3[1.2.pic] 3[1.2.Eh] 3[1.2.3/bcl] 3[1.2.3/cbn] - 4 3 3 1 - tmp+3 - hp, pf/cel - str
2013 American Composers Orchestra Underwood Readings, Selected Work
2013 University of Southern California New Music for Orchestra, Selected Work
Premiered April 8–9, 2013: American Composers Orchestra conducted by George Manahan at DiMenna Center in New York, NY
Other performances: USC Thornton Symphony (2013)
When I began writing Maelstrom, I knew I wanted to keep people right on the edge of their seats, holding on for dear life, as their ship, the concert hall, catches a devastating current that puts them at the heart of an unrelenting storm. The sawing string section in the beginning sucks the unwarned vessel in, reeling it into a whirling black hole of low brass and high woodwind runs. We then change perspective and view the storm from the eyes of those bewildered and terrified sailors, who bicker amongst themselves in confusion and despair, evoked by the punches of the low woodwinds and the quarrel between the horns and trumpets, with of course, the unforgiving storm of the string section always present in the background. Eventually the storm subsides, turning those fast repeating string lines into soft and seemingly innocent pizzicato triplets. But as more and more layers begin to be added, the crew starts to panic once again — the storm is back in full force and it becomes just a matter of minutes before the ship and her men become forever lost in the depths of the Maelstrom.
Donald Crockett leads the University of Southern California Thornton Symphony Orchestra in Maelstrom.
Cover Art by Kelsey NaPier