Andromeda is a space fantasy about a fictional flight to the Andromeda galaxy, the largest galaxy next to our own Milky Way. This programmatic work features Gillingham's signature chromaticism and spectacular scoring.
Genre: Band | # of Players: Standard
Level: 3 | Duration: 5:15
Alto Saxophone 1
Alto Saxophone 2
F Horn 1
F Horn 2
Timpani (4 drums)
Percussion 1 (Bells, Suspended Cymbal)
Percussion 2 (Vibraphone, Flexatone, Triangle, Chimes [shared])
Percussion 3 (Ocean Drum, Xylophone, Chimes [shared], Tam-Tam)
Percussion 4 (Vibraslap, Marimba [4-octave], 4 Concert Toms, Crash Cymbals [shared])
Percussion 5 (Brake Drum, Suspended Cymbal, Crash Cymbals [shared])
Percussion 6 (Bass Drum, Hi-Hat, Snare Drum)
Andromeda is a space fantasy about a fictional flight to the Andromeda galaxy, the largest galaxy next to our own Milky Way. The piece begins with an introduction capturing the mysteriousness of the unknown galaxy about to be explored. The section is permeated with unusual sounds, eerie chord progressions and a sense of reticence about the unknown captured through repeated ostinato in the piano and keyboard percussion. The section closes with a sense of calm but is quickly interrupted by the next fast section which seeks to depict the flight of the spaceship toward the Andromeda galaxy using a dramatic theme in G minor characterized by shifting tonality, chromatic median relationships, and ascending/descending lines. This segues to the next section which features a secondary lyrical theme in the B-flat Lydian which alludes to the beauty and wonder of the “new world”. But the music grows intense as the spaceship senses danger ahead. It is forces to negotiate through meteor showers and avoid black holes characterized by pounding percussion, dissonant bell chords, and overlapping dark chords between the brass and woodwinds. All of this danger is too much to bear and the spaceship is forced to turn around and head for home with the return of the main theme in G minor. The section reaches a climax and modulates to C major where a repeated pattern of eighth notes in the upper brass and woodwinds accompany an augmented version of the first theme in the low brass and woodwinds. The spaceship encounters more danger on its return depicted by ascending chromatic lines and dissonant chords. A dramatic descending chromatic chord progression signifies the ship’s descent back into the safety of our own galaxy. The second theme is heard again in the trumpets and horns accompanied by repeated eighths in the woodwinds alluding to the memory of the Andromeda galaxy. The music becomes calm and a reflective coda follows using motives of the second theme bringing the piece to a quiet conclusion.
Andromeda was commissioned by J.T. Lambert Intermediate School Band in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvannia, Kevin Horne, director.