As I was flying back home from a trip one bright afternoon, I was enamored by a particular phenomenon that made an appearance in the skyline for only a few minutes. As the plane was high above the clouds, the sunlight glared at such an angle and the passenger window reflected the sunlight at such a point that a perfect circle with all of the colors of the rainbow was formed in the clouds. This particular type of cloud iridescence was fascinating to witness, and it led me to imagine a fiery celebration of colors and sounds contained within this phenomenon.
Kaleidoscopic Dances is a light and joyous work in this regard, a fun and youthful celebration of life complimented with a constant sensation of motion. A kaleidoscope of shimmering melodic figures are infused with grooves inspired by heavy metal and progressive rock, creating a sound world both modern in nature and celebratory of some of this planet's most beautiful natural wonders.
From the composer -
"Kaleidoscopic Dances was originally commissioned by Jason Taurins and the St. David USD #21 Symphonic Band in
early 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic devastated the world. At the time, the ensemble consisted of eight
performers (seven wind players and one percussionist), and so my compositional approach for the work proceeded
with this in mind. While the final version was published with additional instrumental parts, I realized that my writing process for this piece was very similar to the approach I would later take for composing and arranging the flex/
adaptable music I've worked on since 2020. It naturally made sense to me that Kaleidoscopic Dances could be fully
reworked into a true flex/adaptable piece.
With all of this in mind, the adaptable ensemble version of Kaleidoscopic Dances has been re-arranged for 6 parts. As with my previous adaptable ensemble compositions and arrangements, all percussion is entirely optional. Additional,
optional parts for bass guitar, piano, and keyboard synthesizer are included in this version. Backing tracks are also
included, to be used if needed as a substitute for any, or all, of these additional parts.
My sincerest gratitude goes to Jason Taurins and the St. David USD #21 Symphonic Band for the opportunity to write this music for them. I am delighted to present this new version of Kaleidoscopic Dances."
"If possible, don't be afraid to experiment with different instrumental combinations when performing this work! These experimentations can be used as a learning tool for you and your performers for how color and texture can change with even the smallest difference in orchestration (example: have the flutes play alone at a particular passage, then clarinets or saxophones, then a combination of these families. What are the differences in timbre? Does it affect the mood or emotion of the piece, and if so, how?). Use this piece, in that regard, as an endless sea of experimentation and creative possibilities for you and your performers.
With all of this in mind, this arrangement of KALEIDOSCOPIC DANCES should be used as an opportunity to demonstrate how music isn't just chord progressions, electronic samples, heavy-metal grooves, or even just simply dots on a page. It's how that music is brought to life with what we have available; what we can create from it; how decisions of musical intent, listening to each other, and hearing these new sounds/colors/textures can impact our perceptions of the piece; and finally, how we can use these skills for any performance situation, no matter what the instrumentation, style, or genre may be."