Petition & Rain Dance (Score & Parts)-2BSN/PERCUSSION
Composer: Milmerstadt, Chris
Publisher: Imagine Music
for two bassoons and percussion
by Chris Milmerstadt- American composer
The composition Petition and Rain Dance is a two-part composition played without a break. The first half, 'Petition', starts with a plaintive melody that repeats in the other bassoon at various overlapping points creating an irregular cannon. Eventually a second melody emerges; the first melody now takes on a supportive role. A new mood created by these merged melodies is underscored by percussion. The simultaneous juxtaposition of these two melodies, as well as the patterns emphasized by the percussion, foreshadows the main theme for the second composition: 'Rain Dance'.
'Rain Dance' is introduced with an irregular rhythmic motif, stated in unison by the bassoons, over a steady repeating pattern by the percussion. The percussion evolves and complements (and contrasts) the rhythmic part created by the two independent voices of the bassoon duo. A second theme, optimistic in temperament, is then introduced and is a rhythmic elaboration of the first theme. This second theme is an exact reiteration of the merged melodies from 'Petition' (however in this faster incarnation it is hardly recognizable). This is repeated in various guises and the mood eventually becomes somewhat less certain. These two pieces represent two ideas; the plea for a reprieve from a dire situation - a drought and a petition to the 'powers that be' for intercession, and the subsequent effort to bring about the desired change by taking matters into one's own hands - a ritualistic dance to bring forth the needed deluge.
The percussion used is Toms and Cymbals.