Signs and Wonders
for wind quintet
written for Imani Winds // premiered April 28, 2017 by Imani Winds; Chicago, IL
instrumentation: flute (piccolo), oboe (E.H.), clarinet, horn and bassoon
duration: 12 minutes (four movements)
SIGNS AND WONDERS is inspired by my childhood experience in the pentecostal church, in which music was and continues to be a vital aspect of the worship service. The music in these services tended to be loud, fast, and full of energy, with the congregation responding in kind – dancing, clapping, shouting and running were not uncommon. The four movements correspond to different musical and spiritual practices: the first, Call, represents the call to worship, as the congregants slowly gather and begin to join together in song. The second movement, Shout, refers to shouting music, in which a fast tempo is accompanied by the shouting and hollering of the congregants. The third movement, Intercession, is inspired by the intense moments of prayer toward the end of a service. These moments are often quiet, but may be interrupted by a loud interruption of wailing or speaking in tongues. The last movement, Vamp, is based on the idea of a recurring idea, in this case an ever-ascending bassoon line, that gradually grows in volume and intensity.