|Create an EKPHRASTIC (art
imitationg art) from any section of this presentation. The
Casebolt Project will be 9 April 2019 at 7:30 PM. Please plan to
attend (even if your piece is not selected).
Village Suite was originally intended to be performed by a saxophone quartet with several featured soloists (trumpet, tuba, violin, etc.). The work included some dramatic staging and acting as well. It has since grown into a multi-movement work for full wind ensemble. As a whole, this piece is a fusion of medieval and modern sounds. Inspiration was drawn from recent popular music and includes tunes borrowed from medieval times. Each movement is representative of a specific character one might happen upon in a small medieval village, hence the title, Village Suite.
I – The Town Crier
The town crier enters the village with his posse of brass players to relay news from the kingdom. The trumpet section is featured in this funk/fanfare. The ostinato in the lower voices is loosely based on a blues progression while the upper brass and woodwinds play quick, tight rhythms, typical of both fanfares and the funk style. Dissonant harmonies abound in this movement as tighter harmonies (typical of jazz styles) and more open harmonies (like fourths and fifths, typical of both jazz and medieval music) overlap.
II – The Royal Fool
A local goofball, this character is quite clumsy, but kind-hearted. He works to entertain the king, but enjoys sneaking out to small villages in his free time. Children love to gather around to play and sing with him as he dances through the streets. This movement opens with a tuba solo representative of the deep chuckling of this friendly fellow. Most of the movement is in 12/8 time, with interruptions in 9/8 (as if he has tripped). Duplets in triple meter are utilized to give a more awkward and slightly uncomfortable feeling. The characters begin to hasten in their singing and dancing down the street as the Local Drunkard appears. Snippets of music from Walt Disney’s animated classic, Robin Hood, are included at the introduction, while a medieval tune, Sumer is Icumen In, permeates the entire movement. The tuba is featured, representing the Fool, while the upper woodwinds and percussion represent the children playfully singing and dancing along.
III – The Local Drunkard
This character loves to get an early start to his favorite activity. He is often found lying amidst a wide array of bottles, singing loudly as the Village Fool and the local children scurry away. The idea for this movement originated as a composition for a college music theory class. Written as a “waltz” in 2/4 meter, this movement is meant to feel “off.” Auxiliary percussion instruments are heavily utilized to create the effect of drunken hallucinations. The trombone’s sliding abilities make it the perfect instrument to represent the Local Drunkard sloppily staggering down the street.
IV – The Executioner
The streets empty when this character lumbers into town. Always on the prowl for criminals, ne’er-do-wells, and delinquents, the executioner often takes “justice” into his own hands. The Executioner is meant to build tension through intensity of dynamics, texture, and rhythm as the executioner draws nearer and nearer. Glissandi, falls, and trills in the horns and upper woodwinds add to this intensity. The timpani simulates the feeling of a heartbeat as the villagers hide in fear. The tension begins to fade out as the executioner passes by and the heartbeats of the villagers slow back down. The main melody of this movement was borrowed from Aerosmith’s “Kings and Queens.”
V – The Wayfarers
A poor, traveling couple sits on the side of the street early in the evening begging for any spare coins they can get. The husband begins to sing a sad song in despair, but his wife, a hopeful and more optimistic person, joins in and has a bit more fun with it. The two begin to sing and dance back and forth. The main melody is based on the medieval tune Palestinalied, composed by Walter von der Vogelweide, and incorporates some jazz elements. The euphonium and clarinet are featured as the husband and wife, respectively.
VI – The Performance Troupe
A small crowd has gathered by the time the wayfaring couple are done with their performance. Inspired by their singing and dancing, a group of street performers begins to play a celebratory dance as the citizens of the village bring out food to share and put on their dancing shoes. Each of the previous characters appears in the crowd, signaled by the return of their respective musical themes, most notably Sumer is Icumen In. The main melody was inspired by the medieval tune, Kalenda Maya, and features the oboe and alto saxophone. By the end, everyone is celebrating and singing Sumer with the Royal Fool or Kalenda with the Performers as the two medieval tunes
Dylan Pich "Village Suite" original composition for Wind Ensemble
I – The Town Crier (0:00)
II – The Royal Fool (1:56)
III – The Local Drunkard (3:30)
IV – The Executioner (5:28)
V – The Wayfarers (7:38)
VI – The Performance Troupe (10:48)