THE END OF THE WORLD (2011) by Michael Schelle
1. The Exhausted Sun (0:00 - 5:55)
2. Bullet Train to Hell (5:55 - 8:50)
3. After Afterlife (8:50 - end)
Winner of the 2012 National Band Association "William D. Revelli" Composition Prize
KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY SYMPHONIC WIND ENSEMBLE
Frank Tracz, music director and conductor
McCain Concert Hall
For more information on the piece: schellemusic.com/8.html
VIDEO (with video image projections): University of South Florida: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWy3Fohb49A&feature=youtu.be
INDIANA UNIVERSITY .. https://soundcloud.com/rimsky-1/michael-schelle-bullet-train
ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY .. https://soundcloud.com/rimsky-1/michael-schelle-the-end-of-the
PROGRAM NOTE: (for printed concert programs)
THE END OF THE WORLD (2011) Michael Schelle (b. 1950)
1. THE EXHAUSTED SUN
2. BULLET TRAIN TO HELL
3. AFTER AFTERLIFE
Written during the blistering, record-breaking heat wave of summer 2011, THE END OF THE WORLD was inspired, in some part, by the notorious cataclysmic end-of-the-world prophecy of Nostradamus (scheduled for late December 2012) and the Mayan calendar’s end-of-time prediction (also, according to some, on the immediate horizon). The primary source of inspiration, however, was the great earthquake and tsunami that leveled much of northern Japan in March 2011. My original plan was for a “serious” Nostradamus-related piece, but fate interceded: As I began work on the music in Spring 2011, I was heartbroken by the fear, disbelief and sadness on the face of my Japanese wife, composer/pianist Miho Sasaki, as she sat paralyzed by her emotions, watching televised images of her homeland’s devastation. So my piece took its shape and inspiration from this disaster.
At the end of the day (or the end of the world), doomsday predictions are ephemeral, but Japan’s 3/11/11 cataclysm will have a profound international impact on generations to come. Besides, as I spoke with one of the consortium directors about my Nostradamus vs. Japan dilemma, it dawned on me that both subjects might very likely produce a similar score – so I chose to just embrace it all and seek the optimistic “substance after shadows” (Shinto prayer) for resolution.
As old Nostradamus's predictions have come and gone without incident, and the Japanese people have (once again) picked themselves up from the ashes and resiliently moved on, now my piece may take on more universal considerations: perhaps reflecting on each listener’s personal experience(s) with the loss of important persons, places, or things.
THE END OF THE WORLD is a commission from a consortium group of 35 university and professional symphonic bands / wind ensembles from across the US and abroad. In December 2012, selected from over 80 international entries, THE END OF THE WORLD was awarded the 2012 National Band Association "William D. Revelli Composition Prize".
LA FIN DU MONDE CONSORTIUM COMMISSION GROUP:
Michigan, Eastman, Texas-Austin, Indiana, Nebraska, Illinois, Florida,
Purdue, Arizona State, Michigan State, Kansas State, Wisconsin, Ithaca,
Southern Illinois, UNC Greensboro, Minnesota, New Mexico, Louisiana, Butler,
Trinity (TX), Capital, IPFW, Missouri, the Hartt School, Lawrence Conservatory,
Virginia Commonwealth, Illinois Wesleyan, Indiana Wind Symphony, etc.
The Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) Performing Arts Center Symphonic Wind Ensemble