The North Star (2018) – Bb clarinet/Bb bass clarinet, 2 percussion, piano - 13 minutes
Commissioned by Zeitgeist for the Greenlight New Music Festival
Complete instrumentation: Bb clarinet/Bb bass clarinet, 2 percussion (perc 1: marimba, 2 concert toms, 2 wood planks, 2 copper pipes, triangle; perc 2: vibraphone, low octave crotales, concert bass drum, 2 wood planks, 2 metal plates/anvils, chain), piano
“The North Star” serves as a historical and cultural tour of Minnesota’s main industries: logging, mining/shipping, agriculture, and manufacturing/technology. Inspired by traditional folk music, cultural records, state anthems, and binary computer and Morse codes, this work celebrates Minnesota and its important contributions to the United States, past and present. “The North Star” was composed for Zeitgeist, a Minnesota-based, musical icon.
Movement 1 quotes the melody from Minnesota logger Michael Cassius Dean’s, “The Falling of the Pine.” Movement 3 quotes the state song, “Hail! Minnesota,” composed by Truman E. Rickard and Arthur E. Upson. Both pieces are in public domain. Access to the sheet music was available through the Minnesota Folksong Collection and Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State (accessed in summer 2018 online).
Listen to the piece here.