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Bloom

percussion ensemble with CD accompaniment
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Composer: Michael A. McIntosh
Publisher: Innovative Percussion, Inc.
Instrumentation: 3 marimbas (2 - 4.5 octave, 1 - 5 octave) 2 vibraphones, glockenspiel, large tom/impact drum, 4 concert toms, low bongo, high bongo, low concert snare drum, high concert snare drum, field drum, suspended cymbal, gong, high-medium-low splash cymbals, ride cymbal, swish-knocker cymbal (or cymbal w/ rivets)

Program Notes:
“BLOOM” IS A PERCUSSION ENSEMBLE FOR 7 PLAYERS AND IS TO BE PERFORMED WITH THE MODERN SOUNDSCAPE PROVIDED. IT TELLS A STORY OF A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A FLOWER COMPLETE WITH BLOSSOMING, BUMBLEBEES, AND A RAIN SHOWER INTO NIGHTFALL.

MVMT. 1 “BLOSSOM” THE PIECE STARTS WITH ALL PLAYERS SURROUNDING THE TWO VIBRAPHONES….THE OPENING NOTES. (WITH VIBE MOTORS ON) EITHER BOWED OR PLAYED WITH SOFT MALLETS, SHOULD BE VERY RANDOM AND PERSONAL BY EACH PLAYER. ONE BY ONE THE PERFORMERS PEEL AWAY AS IF TO REPRESENT THE FLOWER SLOWLY OPENING. THE ACCELERANDO REPRESENTS THE PETALS BLOOMING AS THE PIECE MODULATES IN KEY FROM Ab TO Bb, TO B AND FINALLY CM REPRESENTING MUSIC IN FULL BLOOM.

MVMT. 2 “BUMBLEBUZZ” THIS MOVEMENT IS ALL ABOUT THE MEMBRANES. THE “BEES” ARE APPROACHING! MILITARISTIC IN STYLE, THIS MOVEMENT IS ABOUT NATURE’S GROOVE. PLEASE ADHERE STRICTLY TO THE DYNAMICS IN ORDER TO GIVE THE PIECE MOVEMENT, LIFE AND MOTION. THIS PIECE IS LIGHT-HEARTED AND FUN TO PLAY AS THE PERFORMERS INTERACT WITH THE SOUNDSCAPE.

MVMT. 3 “RAINDROP DRINK” THIS MOVEMENT EMBODIES AN EARTHY DOWNPOUR PROVIDING A QUENCHING DRINK. THE OPENING DESCENDING MOTIVE OF C, B, G, E AND C IS WOVEN THROUGHOUT AS THE SOUNDS OF RAIN MIXED WITH ORGANIC PERCUSSION CREATES AN INTROSPECTIVE OVERALL TEXTURE. THE ENDING CHORD STRUCTURE IS REVERENT OF THE CALMING RAIN SHOWER. AS THE RAIN FADES AWAY, THE PLAYERS RETURN AS THEY BEGAN REPRESENTING OUR FLOWER SLOWLY CLOSING TO THE PEACEFUL SOUNDS OF NIGHTFALL.

Review:
"This percussion septet is scored for two vibes, three marimbas (one 5.0-octave), concert tom-toms, glockenspiel, snare drum, and field drum. There is also a small amount of accessory percussion, but the unique facet to this ensemble is the accompanying CD soundscape. This five-minute, single-movement composition is programmatic in that it “tells a story of a day in the life of a flower complete with blossoming, bumblebees, and a rain shower into nightfall.” The overall effect is contemporary sounding with little melodic content. This composition was commissioned for the Spring High School Percussion Ensemble (Texas) for its 2009 performance at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Convention in Chicago. Although there are distinctive ensemble challenges in performing with the CD, this composition and its “programmatic topic” will not appeal to everyone. However, it would be a great secondary selection for the mature high school percussion ensemble." - Jim Lambert Percussive Notes, March 2011

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