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Fields of Grain as Seen from a Train

By Timothy Mahr

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Concert band (Piccolo, Flute 1/2, Oboe 1/2, English Horn, Bassoon, Contrabassoon, Eb Clarinet, Bb Clarinet 1, Bb Clarinet 2/3, Bass Clarinet, Alto Saxophone 1/2, Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, Cornet 1, Cornet 2/3, Bb Trumpet 1/2, Horn in F 1/2, Horn in F 3/4, Tr) - grade 4
Composed by Timothy Mahr. Band Music, closer. Score and parts. Duration 8:00. Published by C. Alan Publications (CN.14790).

Item Number: CN.14790

Inspired by a painting of the same name, "Fields of Grain as Seen from a Train" seeks to musically describe the world someone on a train might observes as it is flying past them. Innovative scoring. Lovely melodies. Unmistakably Timothy Mahr!

During my 2001 sabbatical, I pursued an active interest I have in painting, studying in particular what it has to contribute to my work as a composer. In this process, I discovered a number of wonderful artists that were new to me. One was Arthur Dove (1880-1946), considered by many to be one of America's first abstract painters. When I started serious work on this commission from the Canandaigua Academy Wind Ensemble, I was reviewing a favorite art book and noticed that Dove was born in Canandaigua. It immediately came to mind to compose a work inspired by one of his paintings. It was a nice coincidence to find that Dove had produced paintings inspired by composers, among them George Gershwin and Duke Ellington. Dove's painting "Fields of Grain as Seen from a Train," struck an immediate chord with me, not so much for the merits of the painting itself, but for the concept behind it. For decades I had in mind trying to translate into music the various degrees of motion one senses when observing the world go by from a moving vehicle (for example, the bus on band tour). Objects and structures on the horizon line pass through the field of vision with an almost imperceptible slowness, while those things closer and closer to where you are move by with increasing quickness, until the gravel at the side of the road is nothing short of a speedy blur - and all of these sensations of motion happen at the same moment in time. This composition is an exploration of this sensation. Additionally, as the work developed, it became more and more about the quite inner-thinking that emerges when one calmly watches the world pass by when someone else is doing the driving. -Timothy Mahr Commissioned by the North Fort Myers High School Wind Ensemble, Phil Porter, director in appreciation of his dedication and excellence as a musician and teacher.

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