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    2nd Epitaph - Across the Water - Peter Meechan

    This piece, as the title suggests, is the second Epitaph I have written, the first being Epitaph (for Hillsborough). '2nd Epitaph - Across the Water' was written for the Fountain City Brass Band, who are from the USA, to perform on D-Day landing beaches in Normandy, France. The title has a double reference point - the water between the UK and France, across which many troops (from the UK and the USA amongst others) travelled in the Normandy invasions, and also the water between the UK (the home of the composer) and the USA (the home of the band).

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    Apex - Peter Meechan

    Apex is a solo which can be played on any instrument (the recording on this page is with the Chinese Er-hu). It was originally commissioned by Mark Bousie and David Armitage (President of Sellers International Ltd.) for the Sellers International Youth Band to perform at the Action Research Entertainment Contest in Blackpool, 2007.The accompaniments parts are simple, and they feature singing, as well plenty of percussion!

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    Apophenia - Peter Meechan

    "Apophenia is the experience of seeing patterns or connections in random or meaningless data."Apophenia is a trumpet concerto in three movements written for American trumpet virtuoso Rex Richardson. Each of the three movements features a different instrument; Movement 1 is for the Bb trumpet, the second is for flugel horn and trumpet, and the third is for trumpet and piccolo trumpet (or Eb trumpet).

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    Autumn Falling - Peter Meechan

    Autumn Falling is a short tone poem for wind orchestra. The work reflects on autumn in the home city of the composer, Manchester, England - a time where almost everything falls. Leaves falling from trees are normal in autumn time, as is the rain falling from the skies – but it is the later the composer is referring to in the main. Manchester is known as the city that receives the most rainfall in the United Kingdom.

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    Chorals (on Brecht) - Peter Meechan

    Commissioned by Sam Taylor and theSheldon-Williams Jr. and Sr. Concert Band, Regina.Inspired by the short Brecht epigraph at the start of his 1939Svendborg Poems("In the dark times Will there also be singing? Yes, there will also be singing About the dark times."), Chorales (on Brecht) was written around the time that a concert in my home city of Manchester, UK, was bombed, killing 22 concert goers. The reaction saw the people of Manchester taking to the streets, singing together, listening to poetry – art and love drowned out the darkness.This piece features several small chorales, some reflecting on the dark times we are currently living through, and some painting the optimistic picture of the future that my city showed in the aftermath.

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    Episodes and Echoes - Peter Meechan

    Episodes and Echoes is a concerto in three movements for tuba. The title of the work relates directly to the way the composer approached writing the piece."Although the work is scored with piano and wind band accompaniments, Episodes and Echoes was originally written for tuba and brass band. I had several problems to overcome - the brass band contains 4 tubas, and 2 euphoniums, all of which could obscure the solo line, so I decided to write for the soloist in a manner that meant they were either playing alone, in episodes, or repeating/echoing phrases."In addition to this, the composer combined the characteristics of the tuba with other instruments: in the second movement the tuba is similar to a singer performing an aria and a recitative, and third movement a bass guitar.Episodes and Echoes was commissioned by, and dedicated to, Les Neish who premiered the work in 2005, accompanied by the Beaumaris Brass Band, conducted by Gwyn Evans.The concerto has received many performances throughout the UK, as well as the rest of Europe.

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    Epitaph (for Hillsborough) - Peter Meechan

    Epitaph (for Hillsborough) was written on the 20th anniversary of the Hillsborough stadium disaster, April 15 1989, in memory of the 96 victims. All of the victims were fans of Liverpool Football Club, the club I have supported since I was a young child.The disaster unfolded in front of the BBC television cameras, and due to the importance of the match (FA Cup semi final), millions, including myself, witnessed it first hand, leaving a lasting impression in the public psyche.Several features of the piece were determined by the tragedy. The length of the piece, 6 and a half minutes, represents the minutes of the game that were played that day (The match was abandoned after 6 minutes), and the final thirty seconds of the work, where the band gently applaud, is a reference to the first match played after the tragedy, a European Cup semi final between AC Milan and Real Madrid.After 6 minutes, the referee blew his whistle and all the players stood still where they were, both sets of fans applauded in memory of the perished, and the fans of AC Milan began singing You'll Never Walk Alone, the anthem of Liverpool Football Club.The work also features 96 strikes of the tubular bells, in memory of each person who lost their life. Epitaph is dedicated to the 96 people who died that day, and to their families whose fight for justice is an inspiration to all.

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    Fenix Blue - Peter Meechan

    Fenix Blue is a solo work for alto saxophone and wind ensemble, commissioned by and written for British saxophonist, Tim Watson.A wild blues inspired opening for unaccompanied saxophone gives way for a slow, dirty blues! More blues elements appear in the following slow funk section, driven by the percussion section and drum kit.Slow reflective music follows before a return to the slow funk - this time with plenty of the original blues music interjected around the band and from the soloist, leading to a loud conclusion!The title makes reference to the large blues influence in the piece, but the Fenix referred to in the title is a dedication to the Phoenix 2 capsule that rescued the 33 Chilean minors who were trapped underground for 69 days last year, the last of whom was brought to the surface in the capsule as I was finishing this piece.

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    Fields of Destruction - Peter Meechan

    Fields of Destruction is a collection of three songs for euphonium and wind ensemble. These aren't songs in the classical music sense, nor are they representative of "pop" songs or those from a musical. The three songs take more from the folk tradition of story telling and protest songs, transparent in nature, plain in delivery, and also heartfelt. The subject matter is war, and more specifically, the wars which we (The UK and the US) are involved in.Whilst the piece was in its gestation period, it occurred to me that there was a really strange irony. Flanders Fields are covered in poppies, now a symbol of remembrance, and of peace, yet the huge plantations of the same flower in Afghanistan fund the terrorist attacks on out nations, as well as fund the organisations that plan such attacks, and fight wars with our troops in Afghanistan.

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    Fire in the Sky - Peter Meechan

    Fire in the Sky takes its inspiration from the stunning town of Montreux in Switzerland. I was commissioned to write the work 5 days before I visited this Montreux and was at work forming ideas for the piece as I arrived on the shore of Lake Geneva and its amazing views of the Alps.Whilst the scenery is without doubt some of the most incredible views I have ever witnessed, it was the history of the town that set Fire in the Sky in motion. Whilst there, it occurred to me that many of my musical heroes had lived or performed there, and three of them in particular had a strong connection with the town. Miles Davis, Igor Stravinsky and Freddie Mercury graced Montreux - the large convention centre, where the famous summer jazz festival is held, named its two halls after Davis and Stravinsky, and there is a quite breathtaking statue of Mercury in the town too.Each musician also commemorates an anniversary in 2011, the year of the premiere of Fire in the Sky; it is 40 years since the death of Stravinsky and both Miles Davis and Freddie Mercury died in 1991, making it 20 years since their deaths. So it seemed fitting to write a piece that in some way acknowledges them, and is a kind of personal "thanks" for all they have given, and continue to give, me.The title comes from the famous Deep Purple song, Smoke on the Water - whose second line is "Fire in the Sky" and is a reference to the night the town's casino was set alight by a Frank Zappa fan. The piece tries to recreate the atmosphere of that night, paint a picture of fire in the sky (and smoke on the water) and also uses small "nuggets" of the music of my three greatest musical heroes, Miles Davis, Freddie Mercury and Igor Stravinsky.

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