Autobiographical Meditations
Digital Sheet Music

Item Number: 21695539
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Alto Sax,Tenor Sax,Baritone Sax,Soprano Sax,Saxophone Octet - Advanced Intermediate - Digital Download

SKU: S0.730395

Composed by Matthew Howell. 21st Century,Post-Romantic,Minimalism. Score,Set of Parts. 161 pages. Published by Matthew Howell (S0.730395).

For Saxophone Octet

Duration: 27'

Includes score and parts

Autobiographical Meditations is a symphonic reflection on the events of my life after my dad passed away on February 3rd, 2019.

The Prelude and Presto represents the semester of college leading up to my dad’s passing. The music evolves from a tuning sequence into a chorale full of life and vigor, which progresses to the Presto. With light themes and an overall very bright energy, this music reflects my positive experiences in college with the wonderful community around me. The darker themes toward the end of the movement reflect the turbulence brewing under the surface at home, which I was somewhat aware of but didn’t have to deal with in full often. The climax of the movement is an inner struggle with said issues.

The Requiem picks up right where the Presto ends, confronting the darkness head on from which it evolves into the news of my father taking his own life that morning. As the pensive nature of the alto saxophone solo indicates, the world felt devoid of color and hollow as it all came crashing down. The rest of the movement jumps back and forth between vastly differing themes representing my initial reactions and attempts to cope.

The Requiem was intended to end the work, thus the third movement being known as an Epilogue. The entire movement hinges on a harmonic progression of descending chords, all moving down in half steps. The movement takes on a very different tone than the rest of the work, as it details the journey to the end of myself. Unable to come to a true conclusion about how I felt, I began to feel further and further from myself until I began to no longer recognize who I thought I was. The build material from the climax of the first movement comes back as a resurgence of hope and refusal to give in to the despair. Instead of leading to the darker theme of the first movement’s climax, it brings forth a lively reprise of the main theme from the Prelude to tie the work back together as I found my way back home internally.
This music is deeply personal, and its writing has been integral to my processing of this time in my life. The music that stemmed from this journey directly represents the struggles I faced as I came to terms with this new reality.

This worked is dedicated to the OSU saxophone studio, and commissioned/premiered by the Paradigm Octet March 7th, 2020 at the 2020 Biennial NASA Conference.

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