Selamiut: The Sky Dwellers, for wind orchestra, full score
commissioned by the UNLV wind orchestra (Legal size full score)
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I am delighted to be able to offer, by special arrangement with Cambium Music Publications/Subito Music, Selamiut: The Sky Dwellers here in a set of complete materials, score and parts. (See also full score only, listed separately.) These materials have previously been available only as rental materials from Cambium/Subito.
When I was commissioned to compose a piece for the UNLV Wind Orchestra, my first thoughts were of the wonderful richness and variety of color (in every register) that this ensemble possesses and nurtures through its frequent involvement with new works. Perhaps because I composed most of this piece near Lake Superior, where I've had several memorable experiences viewing the Aurora Borealis (or Northern Lights), I began to think of the evolving colors, patterns and textures of the Aurora as a source of ideas for the composition. Soon I began to research the even more breathtaking displays visible to those living further north, especially in the Arctic. As I viewed photos and film, and read accounts by viewers, I began to appreciate the longstanding metaphysical importance of the Aurora to Arctic peoples.
Selamiut [SEE-lah-me-oot] is a word used by the Inuit people to mean "The Sky Dwellers," and refers to the manifestation of departed souls, experienced amid the stunning beauty of the Aurora Borealis. Many indigenous cultures in the arctic regions of the earth have evolved similar traditions around the Aurora which, like the Inuit concept of Selamiut, join two universal human traits: the need to mourn human loss and the capacity to embrace beauty and find meaning in aesthetic experience. With this in mind, I have tried to create music that evokes the environment of an Aurora display in the contrast and mixture of instrumental colors and textures and the gradual, but irregular, rate of transformation over time. My hope is that this music may be approachable by any thoughtful listener, as accessible as the Northern Lights – requiring only humanity and stillness.