Dance of the Storms - III. Finale

Year of composition
Difficult (Grades 7+)
2 minutes
Modern classical music
Percussion ensemble
Instrumental parts
Not available

Dance of the Storms was composed at the request of friend and fellow musician Fred Mariano for the newly formed Kapolei High School �Hurricanes� Winterline. I provided the concept as well mallet/auxiliary percussion parts, and Fred composed an impressive and challenging battery (marching drumline) part. This title really only relates to the fact that Kapolei High's mascot is the hurricane; no dance forms or styles were used or consulted, but the �storm� aspect suggested a structure of fast-slow-fast (the calm eye of the storm surrounded by fierce winds and weather), which became incorporated in the three-movement form.

Musically, much of this piece includes elements of Balinese and Central Javanese gamelan: Gongs and cymbals create a quasi-colotomic punctuation style, common in gamelan. The pelog and slendro tuning systems are emulated using pitches from the Western tempered scale. For example, the Javanese piece srepegan Kemuda (laras slendro pathet sanga), opening the second movement, uses only the notes C, D, F, G, and A, a pentatonic scale. Also, loud accented chords in Balinese gong kebyar are incorporated in the other movements despite the somewhat limited mallet ensemble. Additionally, the xylophone, glockenspiel, and vibraphone combine to create an interlocking melody, which is later elaborated using techniques from both Balinese and Javanese gamelan. The level of elaboration is usually a result of irama, which is also incorporated using drastic tempo changes resulting in a doubling or halving of rhythms.

For a better recording, please listen to the MP3 file (made using virtual Drumline 2.5).

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