Skyscapes offers a musical picture of two contrasting views of the sky. The first picture is a thunderstorm drawing nearer and nearer as the piece progresses. This is symbolized through the use of lightning and thunder sounds from percussion instruments (Snare Drum, Cymbal, and Whipfor lightning; Timpani, Tam-Tam, and Bass Drum for thunder) getting closer together in occurrence just as the sounds of lightning and thunder sound closer together as a storm gets closer. This continues until it becomes stylized at the end in a passage related to punk and heavy metal drumming styles in which the the snare and bass drums alternate in immediate succession relentlessly. This, along with fast, agressive playing from the orchestra and soloist, builds until the storm finally reaches us and we hear the sound of rain beginning to fall. This transitions us into our second picture, which is the the stars beginning to come out. A low, quiet bass drum roll occurs often throughout the movement providing us with a sense of the dark of night, while the soprano instruments of the orchestra provide musical imagery of the brightness of the stars. The guitar, through use of effects, gains a shimmering tone, and, through use of a slide, is able to play much higher notes than would normally be possible allowing the instrument to have a transcendent quality.
Winchester, Paul, "Skyscapes: Concerto For Electric Guitar and Orchestra" (2011). Senior Independent Study Theses. Paper 217.
Bachelor of Music
Senior Independent Study Thesis
© Copyright 2011 Paul Winchester