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17648237
17648237

SuperCell

Alto Saxophone Feature

By David Gillingham

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SuperCell (Alto Saxophone Feature). Composed by David Gillingham. Solo with Percussion Ensemble. For Solo with Percussion Ensemble (Solo E-flat Alto Saxophone, Piano, Marimba 1 (4.3-octave), Marimba 2 (4.3-octave), Marimba 3 (4.5-octave), Marimba 4 (5-octave), 4 Timpani, Percussion 1 (bells, 2-octave crotales, suspended cymbal [shared], tam-tam {shared]), Percussion 2 (xylophone, 3-oc). Percussion Music. Medium. Score and parts. Duration 11:00. Published by C. Alan Publications (CN.10590).

Supercell is a journey through the giant thunderstorms of the same name that roam the Great Plains. Taking a very simple melody in the solo alto saxophone, Gillingham takes the piece through many transformations, keeping the melody fresh.

Supercell is a journey through the giant thunderstorms of the same name that roam the Great Plains. The beginning of the piece represents the breezy and sunny afternoon that is often experienced just before a supercell develops. As the afternoon progresses, puffy clouds become numerous in the once clear sky. Eventually one of these clouds meets an updraft, and it explodes like an atomic bomb into the atmosphere. The sky becomes dark and threatening, lightning flashes violently and thunder is heard in the distance. The breezes die down and the supercell begins its track over the area. Light rain begins to fall, gradually increasing to a moderate shower. All of a sudden the wind begins to madly gust, the rain becomes blinding, and small hail mixes with the rain. Eventually the rain is overtaken by a hailstorm that hurls hailstones up to the size of softballs, wreaking havoc on properties below. The supercell spreads panic and fear as it becomes even more intense with deafening hurricane force winds, furious lightning, pounding rain and hail, and a pitch-black sky! Just as the storm reaches its ultimate fury, it is suddenly silenced. The air is dead-calm. Though no rain or hail is failing, the sky is still pitch-black with a tint of green. Though the fury appears to be over, the worst is yet to come! A tornado moves through, destroying everything in its path! Common items are whirled through the air, turning them into deadly missiles as the whirlwind of over 300 MPH tears through! Though the tornado is the most violent part of a supercell, it is the most short-lived. As the tornado departs the area, the black sky gives way to rays of sunshine and clear skies. A haunting mood is heard, because even though the skies have cleared, the aftermath of the supercell is abundant. As destructive as the storm might have been, eventually the aftermath becomes a memory as people move on and repair the damages. The piece ends in a calm, gentle, and dream-like manner, with a short reminder that supercells will return.

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