Roosevelt University Wind Ensemble
Stephen Squires, Conductor
Beyond the Walls and the Water: for New Orleans, Louisiana Ten Years after Hurricane Katrina was written in honor of New Orleans, Louisiana’s survival ten years after the horrors of Hurricane Katrina. The work emphasizes two attributes that are intricately linked to the city: the rich culture of Mardi Gras music and time. The composer draws on his early years living in south Louisiana and recalls the rhythms, timbres and essence of Mardi Gras music past and present. Additionally, the timelessness of the city is reflected in the way that rhythm and time are manipulated throughout the piece.
The Beyond the Walls and the Water is saturated with different formulations of the 3+3+2 rhythms that are basic to sound of the city. Additionally, the composer works with multiple time streams and different types of time (straight, swing, pushed, relaxed) simultaneously.
The work is introduced by a percussion section replicating the sound of a barge breaking through the walls of the Industrial Canal (measures 1-4) on August 29, 2005. What follows are two “water motives” that come back to interrupt the “Mardi Gras” sections later in the work. The first represents gushing water (measures 5-6), the second depicts relentlessly seeping water (measure 7-16).
New Orleans continues to be a vibrant outlet of art and culture. Beyond the Walls and the Water: for New Orleans, Louisiana Ten Years after Hurricane Katrina pays tribute to the Crescent City and the resilience and persistence of its people, culture, history, timelessness and, attitude.
In spite of everything, it endures.
New Orleans from Algiers Point. New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. Copyright ©2016 Stuart Folse.