Sunrise, Sunset features a vaguely ritualistic quality in which ‘drumming’ provides the constant thread.
Genre: Band | # of Players: One on a Part
Level: 4 | Duration: 8:00
Soprano Clarinet in Eb
Clarinet in Bb 1
Clarinet in Bb 2
Alto Saxophone 1
Alto Saxophone 2
Trumpet in Bb 1
Trumpet in Bb 2
Horn in F 1
Horn in F 2
Percussion 1 (Steel Drums*, Glockenspiel, Xylophone)
*At the beginning and end, Double Seconds are needed (Guitars could be substituted at the beginning); at letters I and V, Tenor Bass is needed, but the passages could be taken up an octave and performed on Double Seconds or Guitars.
Percussion 2 (2 Opera Gongs (medium and high with noticeable bends in pitch), 3 Cowbells (high, medium, and low), Brake Drum (medium)
Percussion 3 (Wood Block, Bongos (with hands)
Percussion 4 (Conga)
Percussion 5 (Timbales, Bongos (with mallets)
Percussion 6 (2 Floor Toms, 2 Tom Toms)
The Samul-Nori is a performance practice based on ancient Korean folk music. The Samul-Nori is enjoying something of a rebirth in Korea as a popular entertainment performed on stage rather than in the fields. In the summer of 2005, one of my former doctoral students in composition, Soonmee Park, now a distinguished Professor of Composition in one of Seoul’s finest universities, was visiting the United States. Dr. Park spent two weeks in East Lansing, and during our reunion she gave me DVD and CD performances of several forms of traditional Korean music. When I viewed the lavish Samul-Nori performance, I was immediately struck by the power unleashed by the four percussionists and the manner in which the music unfolds in a spiritual communal fashion not unlike that of the Indonesian gamelan orchestra performances. Dancers, running and leaping, long tassels flowing from their headpieces, join in from time to time. The moods of the Samul-Nori seem to range from the gentle to the most ferocious and convulsive, often passing through everything in between.
I was inspired to write not an imitation of what I heard and saw, but a piece with somewhat of a ritualistic quality in which ‘drumming’ would provide the constant thread. Over this filament, melodies in the winds, one, two, and three at a time would dance to the beat. I would not, and should not, attempt to emulate true Korean folk practices. The similarity would lie simply in the fact that my ideas were spawned deep from within my imagination and that these ideas seemed to express the activities associated with some communal practices deigned to express both sadness and joy.