At the Dawn of War by Kevin Erickson. Percussion Ensemble. For Percussion Ensemble (Player 1 (glockenspiel, doumbek, finger cymbals), Player 2 (xylophone, 2-octave crotales), Player 3 (3-octave Vibraphone), Player 4 (3-octave vibraphone), Player 5 (4.3-octave marimba), Player 6 (4.3-octave marimba), Player 7 (5-octave marimba), Player 8 ). Percussion Music. Difficult. Score and parts. Duration 11:00. Published by C. Alan Publications (CN.10630).
Employing some very unusual "instruments"(i.e. anchor chains, garden weasel) 'At the Dawn of War' is a very emotional work born from an idea to write a piece about a day of war and then interrupted by the events of 9/11. A challenging piece for even the most advanced ensembles, this one bring your ensemble to the brink.
The idea for this piece began to manifest itself early in the fall of 2000, with the original sketches following soon thereafter. I had intended to create a work that would depict different episodes in a day of war. By spring of 2001, the project had been moved to the back burner with no definite plans for completion. The following fall, I was able to revisit my sketches. Work had resumed for only a couple of weeks when our nation was struck by the tragic events of September 11, 2001. The flood of emotions that followed fueled my desire to see this project come to fruition. Focusing the direction of the project became increasingly difficult as the piece began to morph into something completely different than what had been originally intended. I had considered changing the title to An Act of War and new sketches were composed to depict the actual events of 9/11. As I grew increasingly frustrated with the progress of the work, I found that I did not want to glorify the attack on our homeland. I then looked back at the original ideas for the piece, ...and opted not to make the work programmatic in the traditional manner, but rather to let listeners conjure up images based on their own experiences.