The faint illumination of the otherwise dark side of the Moon is a beautiful phenomenon called earthshine. But beyond the beauty lies the mystery. What is lurking amidst the shadows? Fittingly, Earthshine utilizes a four-note, chromatic motive borrowed from the Radiohead song Subterranean Homesick Alien.
As the program note alludes to, Earthshine is filled with musical contrast: expressive, lyrical phrases meet earthy grooves meet brash, declamatory statements.
The first appearance of the chromatic motive is found at measure 5. Encourage the ensemble to listen to the interaction between the upper woodwinds and mallet percussion. The horn and tenor saxophone add an additional voice to the conversation at measure 13. This type of interplay can be found throughout the work between various voices; be sure to balance the music accordingly to ensure it is easily heard.
The chromatic motive is found in the bass line for the first time at measure 43. Stylistically, the music changes. The groove is paramount.
The third major musical shift occurs for the first time at measure 65. Pay careful attention to the articulations that bring out the hemiola figures (e.g. measure 66).
March 12, 2023, by the 2023 SCBDA Junior All-State Band; Aaron Perrine, conductor
South Carolina Band Directors Association