Drawing inspiration from a poem titled "Calypso," Gillingham perfectly captures the excitement, danger, & celebrations one might encounter while visiting the islands of Trinidad and Tobago. You'll even hear echoes of a calypso band, complete with a steel drum.
Genre: Band | # of Players: Standard
Level: 5 | Duration: 9:34
B-flat Clarinet 1
B-flat Clarinet 2
B-flat Clarinet 3
B-flat Bass Clarinet
Alto Saxophone 1/2
B-flat Trumpet 1
B-flat Trumpet 2
B-flat Trumpet 3
F Horn 1/2
F Horn 3/4
Timpani (4 drums)
Percussion 1 (crotales, bells, suspended cymbal)
Percussion 2 (xylophone, vibraphone)
Percussion 3 (vibraphone, lead steel pan, slapstick, crash cymbals, 3 cowbells)
Percussion 4 (5-octave marimba, shekere, large tam-tam, 3 brake drums)
Percussion 5 (5-octave marimba, 3 brake drums, concert bass drum, 2 small bass drums)
Percussion 6 (2 small bass drums, 4 concert toms, cowbell w/ foot pedal, 2 congas, bongos, ribbon crasher)
*Duplicate instruments are shared.
Nights in Tobago was commissioned in honor of Dr. Larry Snider, Professor of Percussion at the University of Akron. Dr. Snider has been the director of the famed University of Akron Steel Drum Band since 1980.
Trinidad and Tobago are the two islands that make up the Caribbean Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Both islands are popular venues for tourists. Caribbean music flourishes on both islands and one can hear many local calypso-type bands with steel drums. This work has been partially inspired by the imagined nightlife on the two islands as well as Kamau Brathwaite's poem, "Calypso," from which I extracted the following stanza:
Steel drum steel drum
hit the hot calypso dancing
hot rum hot rum
who goin' stop this bacchanalling?
The piece is divided into three sections and is based solely on the melodic material taken from the Caribbean folk song, "Tingalayo" (little donkey). The first section eludes to the rhythms of the steel drum bands indicative of the islands and builds in texture, volume and tempo as the "night life" begins to develop. Ensuing, is a break from the exciting rhythms and music of the steel drums suggesting a quiet walk along the picturesque beachfront. This, however, is interrupted by sinister, violent bursts of percussive dissonance during what began as a wonderful night on the island. Fortunately, the bad is offset by a return to the celebratory sounds of the night with the steel drum again singing the "Tingalayo" tune leading to a spectacular conclusion.