by Patrick J. Burns (Grade 5, 8:00)
The great majority of compositions for symphonic band can be described as “program music”, that is, music which tells a story or relates to the listener a particular concept or idea. In most cases, the composer uses this story or idea as a jumping off point for writing the music and hopes the listener will make the connection between the original material which inspired the composition and the music itself. Soundtrack operates from a different perspective: the listener creates the program for the music.
Soundtrack was, as you might guess, inspired by the cinema. I’ve provided all the music, all the drama, all the twists and turns and multi-faceted characters of an unknown, unspecified plot. Now you, the listener, must create your own plot, follow your own storyline through the piece, craft your own imagery to the music, and ultimately draw your own conclusion about what the music actually illustrates. As I was writing Soundtrack, I deliberately avoided the temptation of assigning specific meaning to any particular musical idea. There are no correct or incorrect conclusions to be made on your part – anything goes. So sit back, take a few deep breaths and get your imaginations in gear. My work is complete. Yours begins now!
Patrick J. Burns