Sea Pictures

Sea Pictures was commissioned in 1994 by Brass Band Willebroek, founder and conductor Frans Violet. 

The band used the piece as their 'own-choice' selection for the Belgian Brass Band Championships and the 1995 European Championships, held in Luxemburg, where the band came third behind Black Dyke and Williams Fairey.

The work aims to describe the many and changing moods of the sea and the love/hate relationship man has always had with this alluring but dangerous part of our planet. It opens quietly and serenely, depicting The Sea at Dawn with almost motionless harmonies rocking back and forth under the cries of sea birds. Gradually, the calm surface is disturbed by gentle breezes and the sea comes to life, building to a glorious sunrise.

This is followed by a rapid and delicate scherzo, Sunlight on Waves, with muted flashes of colour from all sections of the band. After virtuoso contributions from euphonium and bass trombone, the mood darkens as the weather changes for the worse. Storm at Sea gradually subsumes the playful atmosphere and the harmonic language and melodic material become more acerbic and ominous in mood. Eventually the storm breaks out in aleatoric chaos but after a climax the calmer music returns. But the sea has the final word and reminds us that underlying danger is always there.