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Indescribable (Perc Ens 10)


Genre: Percussion Ensemble
# of Players: 10
Level: Medium | Duration: 10:15
Publisher: C. Alan Publications | Copyright: 2019

Download mp3 | Click on images to left for score sample

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Notes & Instrumentation
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  • Notes & Instrumentation


    Indescribable captures the immense devastation caused by two major tornadoes in the Midwestern United States and the hope of a new beginning afterwards.

    Genre: Percussion Ensemble | # of Players: 10
    Level: Medium | Duration: 10:15

    Vibraphone 1
    Vibraphone 2
    Marimba 1 (4-octave)*
    Marimba 2 (4-octave)
    Marimba 3 (4.3-octave)[opt. 5-oct.]*
    Timpani (4 drums)
    Percussion 1(Mark Tree, China Cymbal)
    Percussion 2 (Suspended Cymbal, Wind Chimes, Tam-Tam)
    Percussion 3 (Triangles, Bass Drum)

    *Marimba 1 and 3 may share one instrument

    Program Notes


    One of the most visceral events I’ve experienced occurred on May 22, 2011 while storm chasing with my father. Our path took us near the city of Joplin, where we arrived ten minutes after an EF5 tornado leveled a large part of town. Soon afterwards I wrote this piece both in honor of the tornado's victims as well as to show respect for the sheer power and destructive potential of these storms. Two years later I found myself in Oklahoma, just in time to witness the devastation that another EF5 tornado wrought on the city of Moore. I have since added a dedication to the victims of that storm as well.

    I’ve attempted to depict the series of events that occurred during those outbreaks, starting with a glorious sunrise and gradually progressing through the gathering clouds to the tornado’s arrival. After the storm leaves there is a mournful section, reflecting the overwhelming sense of despair and grief at the destruction and death tornadoes inevitably leave behind. What is shown afterwards, however, is something that all of us have within them, something that allows us to rebuild and move on with our lives even if left with absolutely nothing. This is the one thing that is truly indescribable, the one thing that remains after these Boxes of Pandora are opened, to show there is more to this world than evil and despair, and that is hope.

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