Wind Sketches

Wind Sketches was commissioned by the Tacoma Concert Band from Washington State, USA, Robert Musser, founder and music director. Formed in 1981, The Tacoma Concert Band is the premier community band in the northwest of the US and has received many awards, including the prestigious Sudler Scroll of the John Philip Sousa Foundation. Wind Sketches is the latest in a list of high-profile music commissions the band has initiated and specifically honours the memory of former players and board members, Michael Anderson, Bryan Beale, Roger Gard, Joan Lane and Jim Schultz.

The three movements that make up the work are all inspired by aspects of manís positive and negative relationships with various types of winds. The first, Trade Winds, is in the form of a march with the flavour of a sea shanty, reflecting the oceanic associations of trade winds, a name derived from a late Middle English word for path or track. The term describes the prevailing patterns of easterly surface winds found in the tropics, which have been an important factor in navigating the Atlantic Ocean since the 15th century.

The second movement, Becalmed, is almost static in nature, with little melodic or harmonic development. As well as encapsulating the idea of a ship marooned in a windless sea, it could be seen as an allegory for an emotionally bereft human relationship. 

The finale, Riding the Storm, describes manís love/hate relationship with strong winds; whilst they can be dangerous and destructive, they can also be beneficial and exhilarating.