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Crackle (2020)

For Wind Ensemble

2+picc.2+eh.Ebcl(optional)2+bcl.2+cbn.alto sax.tenor sax./4.3.2+btbn.1/timp./4perc/ hp/cel/bass
Premiered by The University of Michigan Wind Ensemble conducted by Michael Haithcock at the University of Michigan, 22 October 2021
Duration: 11 minutes

CRACKLE can be played by any ensemble worldwide starting June 1, 2022.

Informal reference recording


Live concert video and audio recording is available for archival purposes only and for private listening. If you would like to review the recording please contact Augusta.

Program Note

I care about craft, clarity, and passion. My works are organic and, at every level, concerned with transformations and connections. The carefully sculpted musical materials of CRACKLE are agile and energized, and their flexibility allows a way to braid harmonic, rhythmic, and contrapuntal elements that are constantly transformed — at times whimsical and light, at times jazzy, at times layered and reverberating. Across CRACKLE’s 11-minute duration, a labyrinth of musical interrelationships and connections unfold that showcase the musicians in a virtuosic display of rhythmic agility, counterpoint, skill, energy, dynamic range, clarity, and majesty. Throughout the kaleidoscopic journey, the work passes through many lively and colorful episodes and, via an extended, gradual crescendo, reaches a full-throttle, sparkling intensity — imagine a coiled spring releasing its energy to continuously propel the musical discourse. Vivid, resonant, brassy, and blazing, CRACKLE culminates in music of enthusiastic, intrepid (almost Stravinsky-like, or Stravinsky-crossed-with-Bebop-like) spirits while never losing its sense of dance, caprice, and effervescence.

CRACKLE was co-commissioned by a consortium of wind ensembles through the College Band Directors National Association. Special thanks to Dr. Douglas Stotter who was instrumental in organizing the whole project.

The co-commissioners include:
University of Texas
University of Texas at Arlington
University of Michigan
Eastman School of Music
Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University
Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music
University of Kansas
University of Illinois
University of North Carolina Greensboro
Missouri State University
University of Louisville

CRACKLE is an expansion and a transcription made by the composer of her composition BRIO for orchestra and is dedicated with admiration and gratitude to John Bierbusse on the occasion of his 65th birthday.

— Augusta Read Thomas

To obtain examination or performance material for this
Augusta Read Thomas work, please contact Nimbus Music Publishing.