Fireworks in Outer Space
Composer: Bryan Schumann
Genre: Chamber Music for: Bb Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Piano,
Marimba, Percussion, and Violin
Description: Fireworks in Outer Space was written for the new music ensemble Zeitgeist, who premiered the work on March 22nd, 2011.
Duration: 6 min, 10 sec
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Fireworks in Outer Space is a through-composed piece of music. The architecture of the piece can be divided into four smaller sections. Although the piece is not necessarily programmatic, it is meant to depict how a fireworks display would sound and appear in outer space.
The opening section portrays the vastness and obscurity of outer space with sustained open intervals and complex rhythmic counterpoint.
Percussive cluster chords and flourishing melodic lines represent the fireworks that are created as space objects ricochet off of each other, generating beautiful sparks, vibrant colors, and bombastic sounds. Although the fireworks display in this second formal section starts out slow and graceful, it eventually turns into a wild and crazy explosion-frenzy which is at times even violent and frightening.
The heavens open up in the third section and reveal a universe filled with twinkling stars and happy little planets, which are characterized by sounds from the upper registers of the piano and marimba.
Finally, the whole ensemble builds in intensity and complexity, symbolizing all of space swirling around wildly as it is swiftly sucked into the vortex of a black hole.
Fireworks in Outer Space is the perfect “grand finale” to any concert program.