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POSTNUCLEAR WINTERSCENARIO NO.10

Duration: 12:00 approx.

 

Saxophone Quartet (2004)

 

Music expressing speechlessness about war and devastation, written  January 23 1991, the day the Gulf War began. This sax quartet version

is a transcription of the 2nd string quartet.

 

 

On January 23 1991, shortly after the Gulf War broke out, I felt speechless and unable to compose. In the media, meteorologists predicted apocalyptic consequences for the climate and the environment, similar to the effects of a nuclear war. They called it a ‘post nuclear winterscenario’. I decided to express my speechlessness in music. In only a few hours time Postnuclear Winterscenario No.1 for solo piano was written. It is perhaps the most simple music I ever wrote. Musical material was reduced to a minimum. The 'melody' consists of one single note, an E, that is looped together with its harmonic accompaniment of just four different notes: B, A, G, F#. There are no real rhythmic, melodic or harmonic developments. The main way of expression is in the repetition and the delivery. No.1 was performed numerous times worldwide by Kees Wieringa , even in Iraq, on the ruins of Babylon. Soon musicians asked me to arrange other ’scenarios’, based on the first one, and so I wrote versions for string quartet, for choir, for percussion, for one and two electric guitars, for saxophone quartet, string orchestra  and finally in 2005  for symphony orchestra. Each scenario is different, but they all have the same mood in common: speechlessness about war and devastation.

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