...of Mountains, Water, Rice, Birds and People...

  • 2 flutes, 1 piccolo flute, 2 oboes (oboe 2 doubling on cor anglais), 2 Bb clarinets (clarinet 2 doubling on Bb bass clarinet), 2 bassoons; 

    4 horns in F, 3 Bb trumpets, 2 tenor trombones, 1 bass trombone, 1 tuba; 

    4 percussionists: 

    perc. 1 on timpani; 

    perc. 2 on claves, xylophone, metal garbage can (high) and triangle; 

    perc 3. on woodblock, metal garbage can (middle), bass drum and a pair of crash cymbals; 

    perc. 4 on deep tam, castanets (or snare drum with snares off), metal garbage can (low) and glockenspiel; 

    piano (or keyboard with grand piano sound) and strings. 

  • Duration: 14'
  • In 1 movement
  • Composed in 2018
Programme notes:

The following narrative unfolds chronologically in this symphonic poem: mountains, water and growing rice, a luxurious nocturnal aviary activity, a triple poetic jousts, destruction, lament and finally hope. Each of the three poetic jousts comprises an antiphonal call, the song and its jubilatory response). The last section subtitled "hope" recapitulates all the preceding compositional material whilst the tempo increases stepwise like terraces.  

More specifically, the mountains refer to the Philippine Cordilleras, the water and rice to the Ifugao Rice Terraces, the responsorial type of music to the apapnga, the non-ritual of competing chant. The calls of the following seven birds endemic to the Luzon region are presented: the mountain shrike, the Luzon water redstart, the Luzon songbird, the elegant tit, the chestnut-faced babbler, the Philippine bush warbler and the pygmy flowerpecker. The percussive sounds produced by the orchestra refer to the following seven Ifugao idiophones or idioglots: bungkaka, gangsa, ulibaw, libbit, tongali, ipi-ip and kogao.

Composer, conductor in Singapore with specialty in fusion music

Copyright © Robert Casteels 2012. All rights reserved.