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10 Windows

By Clif Walker

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Percussion ensemble
Composed by Clif Walker. Published by Innovative Percussion (IP.E-CW-WIN).

Item Number: IP.E-CW-WIN

10 windows was inspired during a bedtime ritual with our oldest son, Joe. When he was four, in an effort to stall he would create his own bedtime story after our book time was complete. "Once upon a time there was a kid named Joe…", or "Once upon a time there was a Prince named Joe...". But one night he offered "Once upon a time, there was a room with 10 windows…" and I was hooked. He took me window to window and described what each looked out upon. I imagined the room as an art museum, but instead of pictures, there were uniquely framed windows, each looking out onto a different, living scene, free from reality (one a snowy forest, the next outer space). I think Joe only made it to window three, but ten had a ring to it.
This work is a through composed, ten section piece that explores two basic motifs: the first major, based on a Gb Lydian mode, and the second, minor built on F# natural minor scale: Use of flats = major, and sharps = minor throughout. The enharmonic spelling Gb/F# occurs to highlight this shift. The construction of each window is related in some small way to its number in the sequence.
introduction: main theme, (major to minor)
window 1: one player, solo vibraphone in player 3 (minor)
window 2: 7/16 phrased in 2, duet for player 6 and 7 (minor)
window 3: three note pitch groupings (major)
window 4: four bar groupings 11/16, 11/16, 12/16, 11/16 (major)
window 5: 5/4 + 5/8 time signature and rhythmic note groupings (minor)
window 6: 6 note pitch groupings (minor to major)
window 7: 4/4 + 3/4 pattern, 7 note rhythmic groupings (major)
window 8: 4/4 time, occasional groupings of 8 notes in (player 6 & player 10) (major)
window 9: time signature, 9 note pitch groupings (minor to major)
window 10: 5/4 + 5/8 pattern, 5 note rhythmic groupings (player 8 & player 10) (minor to major)
There are also many hidden "10s" throughout the work such as tempi markings (55, 64, 82, 91 etc), rehearsal marks (10, 28, 109, 172, 208, etc.) as well as the more obvious 10 players utilized in the work. If you add up all the 10s and divide by the number of the window in which it appears, you get the date and time of when the world will end: false. The numerology of the piece isn't always literal or present but served as an inspiration throughout.
The two, mirror image, bell parts are at times Joe and I touring, window to window. Sometimes I slow down, take a break, catch up, he's younger and it's a big room.

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