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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!Apex takes its title from the literal meaning of the word - the highest point.First performance:Sellers International Youth BandMark Bousie - ConductorJoe Murray - CornetPerformance notes:The singing parts are written in transposed pitch, and should be sung to an ??ah? soundThe percussionists should feel free to add instruments (Such as bongos) and treat section C to the end as a guide, which they can change and build onFrom section C until the end, percussion parts 1 and 2 may be played by one percussionist on a drum set

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    Athabasca - Peter Meechan

    The stunning Athabasca Glacier, in the Columbia Icefield in the Canadian Rockies, provided the inspiration for this work. After having visited the Glacier in 2016, I knew that it would find a place in my music - the sheer magnitude of it was stunning, the visual was breath-taking, and the rate at which it is receding (5 meters per year) completely devastating.Now sadly collapsed, beneath the Glacier there were great, expansive ice caves - thankfully they were photographed by explorers, and it is these photos that provided the inspiration for the work; an imaginary walk through these fragile, beautiful structures; what music would sound like in them, what talking would sound like in them; and what moments of listening would sound like in them.When writing the piece I also wanted to try and acknowledge the diminishing nature of the Glacier. Whilst not being something you can visibly notice by simply observing for a short time, it is still happening in front of very eyes. This is represented by the tempos in the piece - almost doubling from the original tempo to the fastest tempo of the work (around 2/3rds of the way through), and - hopefully - almost imperceptibly.When commissioned by Ray Baril and the Edmonton Winds to write a new work for them, the Alberta connection between the group and the Glacier was impossible to resist.Peter Meechan 2018

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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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    Close to the Sun - Peter Meechan

    ??You know, I??ve never understood the idea of ??perfect?. But then I also don??t know what ??normal? means either. At least with ??perfect? you can understand that it is reaching for something ??" although, in truth, it should never, and will never, be attainable: it doesn??t exist. It??s the wrong word. It??s the wrong meaning.But if I can at least understand the idea of trying to reach ??perfection?, ??normal? is the most redundant word I can think of. Very few people truly want to be ??normal? ??" no one strives for normal. And even if they do, do they really have a notion that the concept of ??normal?, which just like ??perfection? ??" at least to my mind ??" doesn??t exist?We are all different. We are all unique. Maybe the only thing that is truly unifying about any of us is that we are all broken ??" we aren??t ??normal?, and we will never, ever, be ??perfect?.No one personified this in my lifetime more than Freddie Mercury. I remember him dying and remember crying almost uncontrollably at his death ??" I was young, not even a teenager, but looking back I honestly don??t know if my tears were because a hero had died, or that I understood the tragedy of how someone so brilliant, yet so flawed, could leave us here on earth.Nothing articulates the way I felt better than the last song the three remaining members of Queen recorded: ??No One But You (Only the Good Die Young)?. A tribute to Freddie, and ??all those who die too soon?, the line ??They're only flyin' too close to the sun? (presumably a reference to Icarus, who in Greek mythology had wings made of wax, and perished after flying too close to the sun, despite warnings not to from his father) provides the title of this work.Opening with a ??perfect? 5th, Close to the Sun is orchestrated in such a way that we will never hear a true, perfect, 5th. The two chords in the winds ??" simple and beautiful ??" soon develop, and become something different, something changed. Those chords, and their development, never lose their origins, but do alter ??" do become something different. Not normal, not perfect, but existing in their own beautiful way.Close to the Sun was commissioned by a consortium of schools, universities, organizations, and conductors, led by Robert Ambrose and Georgia State University, and is dedicated ??from RJA and PM to Ellie ??" in memory of Dylan?PM ??" November 2018Commissioners:Georgia State University (Robert Ambrose), University of Alberta (Angela Schroeder), University of Manitoba(Jacquie Dawson), Bishop Lloyd Middle School (Anya Pogorelova), Esther Starkman School (Jeff Bryant), Vincent Massey Collegiate (Matt Abraham), Kevin Willms, Westwinds Music Society (Kevin Willms), Music Mentors International (Kevin Willms)

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    Devil's Duel - Peter Meechan

    Devil??s Duel takes its inspiration from the story of the infamous Niccolo Paganini whose virtuosity was astounding. He began playing the violin at age seven, and by the age of 13 had the reputation of being the leading Italian violinist of his time. People began to speculate about Paganini??s great talent, and began to wonder about his gift. He became known as a ??Hexensohn? or witch??s brat.Paganini??s demonic reputation became so widespread that his talent was often attributed to the belief that he had help from the devil. Later in life, Paganini would tour Europe, though rumours of supernatural guidance never ceased. He would give concerts, and often ??duel? with other virtuosi - ??winning? by improvising during the contest (or concert!) by adding octaves, thirds, and sixths, and often playing more notes in a second than thought humanly possible.Devils Duel uses the famous music of Paganini??s Caprice no.24 as its musical material, and sees the euphonium soloist duelling with various instruments in the band with displays of virtuosity in the fast music, and cunning in the slow.Devil??s Duel was commissioned by David Thornton, to whom this is dedicated. The premiere was given by David Thornton, Nicholas Childs, and the Black Dyke Band at Leeds Town Hall, 26 May 2006.

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    Elegie - Peter Meechan

    The opening unaccompanied passage of this work was originally written as a short memorial piece for saxophone, but was later adapted as the basis of this more developed work for solo euphonium or trombone.The work uses a variation structure, with both the soloist and the accompaniment changing throughout the piece; the harmony, rhythm and melodic lines leading somewhere new and different each time they are heard - similar to the way our memories of a person often wander in different directions, but are still always focused on that person.

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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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    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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