Ancient Voices, Distant Storms

Michael Varner
Catalog numbers: 

SMC ST613/ HL 3775367

Duration (minutes): 
Detailed Instrumentation: 
4M, 1P
Written to be musically awarding to the average 8th-grade student or enthusiastic 7th-grader, this composition is based on the music and sounds of Japan, though it is not a transcription of any particular pieces.  "Ancient Voices" symbolizes the great bells one finds outside Japanese temples and religious sites, sometimes referred to as the voice of the earth.  "Distant Storms" symbolizes the turbulent and staccato drum sound heard at the "Matsuri", or festivals, held frequently throughout Japan.  It is based on a folk music scale called "yo", a pentatonic scale with optional tones which give it either a major or minor flavor.  Educationally, this piece allows four or five players to use an instrument grouping of both the melodic and rhythmic instruments found in students' beginning kits, and the rhythm is based on four of the most common patterns used to teach sticking proficiency and flow.