THE FIFTH DIMENSION
Brass Band (24 players)
19 July 2008, St. Georges Church, Deal - Grimethorpe Colliery Band (part of Deal Festival)
This work was commissioned by the Deal Festival.
Score and parts here.
The Fifth Dimension
There is a school of thought that argues that all musical material is generated from two intervals: the fifth and the octave. I cannot say that I subscribe to this theory (pace Pythagoras), but there is something about the interval of the fifth – probably stemming from hunting calls and fanfares on valveless instruments – which seems to me especially at home with brass instruments. So I set out to find out what music I could create focusing exclusively on this special interval.
The Fifth Dimension follows an arch-like trajectory. A slow, descending fanfare idea gradually speeds up and moves from an exclusively diatonic environment into a densely chromatic one. After a brief outburst, there is a central section, featuring a virtuoso euphonium solo sandwiched between two statements of a lyrical melodic line. The opening section then returns transformed by ornate scales, which eventually overrun the texture, bringing the piece to a rousing conclusion.