Posted By : PMO Official
Piece Title : The Girl who was turned into a Tree
No. of times Viewed (September 2019) :12
Total No. of times Viewed :1106
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Dificulty Rating :
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Composer / Arranger : McBrien, Roger
Composer / Arranger Details:

Born in Belfast, Rog started composing at a young age; "I remember hearing a song in my head when I was about seven years old and realising I had written it, I just had no way of remembering it."

A few years later piano lessons helped provide a medium for his creative ideas.  He completed his GCSE music exam in evening classes in just eight weeks, and later moved to England to study at the Birmingham Conservatoire.  Whilst there, he ran an ensemble promoting new music and gained a Bmus (hons), MA.  An Overture of his was chosen to be performed by the Conservatoire Symphony Orchestra at the graduation.

Since then Roger has had his music performed in Germany, Hungary, UK and Ireland and has been commissioned for concert, television and educational work.  His music has been aired on radio stations in UK, South Africa, Sweden and the USA.  He can sometimes be caught performing in the group 'nowhere near the garden' and might even make the final cut in the next Salman Khan Bollywood movie miming on trumpet.

Total Number of Percussionists Required :10+ Percussionist(s)
Categories : Tuned Percussion / Percussion Ensemble / Percussion Education
Instrument / Discipline :
Instrumentation : N/A
Range of Instruments / Number of Drums :
Written for / Commissioned by : Birmingham Music Service, UK
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Accompanied :Other
Publisher :Published by the Composer
Publishers Website :Please contact the composer directly.
Publisher Details :

This piece of music is published by the composer and you should contact them directly for more information.

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Year Composed / Copyright Date :2006 / 
Duration :10Minutes
No. of Mallets/Sticks Required :Various
Special Needs :
Sheet Music Available From :(Published by the composer)     Check to see if in stock
Programme Notes / Performance Details :

"In the cold of the evening, they used to gather
Beneath the stars in the meadow, circled near the old oak tree.
At the times appointed by the seasons of the earth, and the phases of the moon.
In the centre, often stood a woman
Equal with the others, respected for her worth.
One of the many we call the witches
The healers, the teachers of the wisdom of the earth.
And the people grew in the knowledge she gave them
Herbs to heal their bodies, smells to make their spirits whole.
Hear them chanting healing incantations
Calling for the wise ones, celebrating in dance and song.

There were those that came to power, through domination.
They were bonded in their worship of a dead man on a cross.
They sought control of the common people
By demanding allegiance to the church of Rome.
And the Pope, he commenced the inquisition
As a war against the women, whose powers they feared.
In this holocaust, in this age of evil
Nine million European women, they died.
And the tale is told, of those who by the hundreds
Holding hands together, chose their deaths in the sea.
While chanting the praises of the Mother Goddess
A refusal of betrayal, women were dying to be free."

The piece was inspired by the poem burning times by Irish song writer Christy Moore and it tells the story of one such girl who is accused, chased, captured and executed simply for being different. At the very end of the piece her spirit returns in the form of an off-stage soprano calling for peace and understanding.

The girl in the forest
Chase and capture
Waking in the cell
Prattle prattle
Trial and execution
Give me peace

This was quite a challenging composition project in that I was asked to write a 10 minute piece of music for up 50 percussionists ranging in ability from grade 1 to two professional percussionists (Maraca2). Thanks go to all the players, Tim and Jason for their valued advice, and last but not least Sarah and Suzi for organising such an interesting day of percussion. - R. McBrien 2006

Instrument list
Soprano I
Piano (prepared at end) A
Synth + amp I
Celeste A
2 x Vibraphone I
2 x Marimba A
1 BSPE Marimba A/I
2 x Xylophone I
2 x Glockenspiel A/I
Mini Glocks - group parts B
Triangle I
2 x Toms (3) I
2 x Darbuka (2) I
3 Snare Drums I
Bass Drum I
Timps (lower 3) I
2 x Tam Tams ( medium, large) I
3 x Surdo (high, med &low) I
Tambourim I
Tambourine I
Bell tree (lowest possible) B
2 x Crotales I
Wooblock (lowest possible) I
Gamelan (1 x balungan) B
Whip I
Cymbals (crash, china, splash) I
Suspended Manjera (finger cymbal, string 12-24" long) I
Soprano A
Drum Kit A
Rain Stick B
Vibraslap I
Temple Blocks I
Zither I
Claves B
Guiro B
Egg shakers B

A = Advanced.
Experienced players

I = Intermediate
semiquavers/dotted rhythms/time signature changes. Some simpler but important parts - must be able to follow score.

B = Beginner
Crotchets/straight rhythms. Cue cards for sections if needed. 

Extra Performance Notes: The two solo percussionists are required to play using four-mallet technique.

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