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At the Dawn of War - Kevin Erickson [DIGITAL]


Genre: Percussion Ensemble
# of Players: 12
Level: Difficult | Duration: 11:00
Publisher: C. Alan Publications | Copyright: 2005

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Notes & Instrumentation
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  • Notes & Instrumentation

    Employing some very unusual "instruments"(i.e. anchor chains, garden weasel) At the Dawn of War is a very emotional work born from an idea to write a piece about a day of war and then interrupted by the events of 9/11. A challenging piece for even the most advanced ensembles, this one bring your ensemble to the brink.

    Genre: Percussion Ensemble | # of Players: 12
    Level: Difficult | Duration: 11:00

    Player 1 (glockenspiel, doumbek, finger cymbals)
    Player 2 (xylophone, 2-octave crotales)
    Player 3 (3-octave Vibraphone)
    Player 4 (3-octave vibraphone)
    Player 5 (4.3-octave marimba)
    Player 6 (4.3-octave marimba)
    Player 7 (5-octave marimba)
    Player 8 (5-octave marimba)
    Player 9 (4 timpani, large suspended cymbal)
    Player 10 (claves, mark tree, suspended cymbal, finger cymbals, brake drum, splash cymbal, 3 Chinese cymbals, 4 concert toms, temple blocks, ribbon crasher, 2-octave crotales, metal scraper, snare drum, crash cymbals, triangle)
    Player 11 (brake drum, tam-tam, bell tree, chimes, anchor chains, snare drum, suspended cymbal, bongos, garden weasel)
    Player 12 (bass drum, tam-tam, ceramic wind chimes, tom-tom, triangle, suspended cymbal, tambourine)

    Program Notes
    The idea for this piece began to manifest itself early in the fall of 2000, with the original sketches following soon thereafter. I had intended to create a work that would depict different episodes in a day of war. By spring of 2001, the project had been moved to the back burner with no definite plans for completion. The following fall, I was able to revisit my sketches. Work had resumed for only a couple of weeks when our nation was struck by the tragic events of September 11, 2001. The flood of emotions that followed fueled my desire to see this project come to fruition. Focusing the direction of the project became increasingly difficult as the piece began to morph into something completely different than what had been originally intended. I had considered changing the title to An Act of War and new sketches were composed to depict the actual events of 9/11. As I grew increasingly frustrated with the progress of the work, I found that I did not want to glorify the attack on our homeland. I then looked back at the original ideas for the piece, ...and opted not to make the work programmatic in the traditional manner, but rather to let listeners conjure up images based on their own experiences.

  • Video

    • At the Dawn of War by Kevin Erickson percussion ensemble

      The West Percussion Group (Brian A. West, conductor) performs Kevin Erickson's "At the Dawn of War" at the Sydney Opera House on 6/19/2011 as part of the International Festival of Winds & Percussion. Published by C. Alan Publications ( This video is posted with permission from the publisher.
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