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Bängala

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Genre: Percussion Ensemble
# of Players: 14
Level: Medium | Duration: 13:25
Publisher: C. Alan Publications | Copyright: 2000

Download mp3 | Click on images to left for score sample

Price:
$69.00
Item #:
05110
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Notes & Instrumentation
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  • Notes & Instrumentation

    This pieces is a series of vignettes inspired by Barbara Kingsolver's novel, "The Poisonwood Bible," which narrates a combination of fictional and historical events in the first days of independence in the Congo. Three sections: "Kilanga Village," "The Goat Feast," "17 January 1961." Wonderful masterpiece for your next concert!

    Genre: Percussion Ensemble | # of Players: 14
    Level: Medium | Duration: 13:25

    Instrumentation
    Percussion 1 (2-octave crotales, large suspended cymbal, tambourine)
    Percussion 2 (bells, chimes, snare drum)
    Percussion 3 (xylophone, 4 graduated bongos)
    Percussion 4 (3-octave vibraphone, temple blocks)
    Percussion 5 (3-octave vibraphone, 4 graduated woodblocks)
    Percussion 6 (4-octave marimba)
    Percussion 7 (4-octave marimba, triangle)
    Percussion 8 (4-octave marimba)
    Percussion 9 (4-octave marimba, kalimba or synthesizer, medium suspended cymbal)
    Percussion 10 (5-octave marimba, large tam-tam)
    Percussion 11 (4 graduated congas, 5 graduated brake drums)
    Percussion 12 (bass drum, 3 concert toms, 5-pitched log drum, small suspended cymbal)
    Percussion 13 (5 timpani)
    Piano

    Program Notes
    Bängala is the Kikongo word for poisonwood, a noxious shrub that can cause painful welts if it touches the skin, or death if its smoke is inhaled. This pieces is a series of vignettes inspired by Barbara Kingsolver's novel, "The Poisonwood Bible," which narrates a combination of fictional and historical events in the first days of independence in the Congo. The missionary in the story ends each sermon with the phrase, "Jesus is bängala," when he meant to say "bangala," or great treasure. This Georgia accent resulted in a miscommunication that symbolized the tragedy that awaited. The first section, 'Kilanga Village' begins happily enough as a variety of meters and tempi mesh into a loose but precise machine. The bängala tree is heard in a persistent TA-da, TA-da pattern, but it is left alone. In 'The Goat feast,' the missionaries are welcomed with call-and-response singing of "What a Friend We Have in Jesus." Cultural conflict grows as we hear "Onward, Christian Soldiers," in the form of a subtle but stubborn tempo disagreement between callers and responders. The third section title, '17 January 1961,' is the date of the murder of the first elected leader of the Congo, Patrice Lumumba, and also the date of the climactic events in the novel. It begins with an eerie pre-dawn quiet shattered by the intrusion of death into the missionary family. We then hear the slow growth of the bängala tree until the branches present a wall of dissonance against a lowering sky. At that point the rainy season begins as all nature joins in mourning the calamity we have witnessed. "Bängala" was written for David Eyler and the Tri-College Percussion Ensemble.

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