California [Wind Ens] – Sets
David Maslanka


for Wind Ensemble
10 min.   •   
   •   Grade 5
Product Type: Sets

Music is wonderful. It lets us tell ourselves things we can’t speak out in words. It opens the dream space and lets us dream together. It lets us imagine the world as it really is, a place of vitality, power, and possibility.

We live in fear of destruction, from climate change, nuclear bombs, increasing population, vanishing resources, continuous war. When the troubles are listed like this it is hard to know what we think we are doing with our seemingly simple and innocent music making.

California has always been a place of big dreams. The music of California celebrates the California dream space. There is tremendous beauty here – the forests, deserts, mountains and valleys, the ocean – and also the strength within the people and in the earth to meet the times that are upon us. Music lets us dream, and in that dream is the possibility of a new world, one in which humans live in harmony, within themselves, with all other people, with all other species, with the planet. Is this dream impossible? Are circumstances too complex? Will human nature never change? My answer to these questions is no. The dream starts somewhere. Let our music making be one such place.

On a musical level the piece is to me nearly perfect. There is such refined writing going on which is communicating such precise and powerful emotion it is overwhelming to me in the same sense of listening to the slow movement of the Beethoven Eroica. The form is masterful the way the beginning calls for the listener’s attention like a meditation bell.

James Sepulvado, Cuyamaca College

As the final notes were being coaxed from the piano I think I had some intuitive awareness that all this was happening. I could feel this amazing focused energy consume the room and as I sat there with my eyes closed I felt so powerfully calm and focused in a way that I had no precedent for other than some of the very best meditation experiences I’ve had and so in that moment when the last note sounded I found myself focusing on my breath. I had initially a passing thought that I hoped the silence would last and in those glorious seconds after the piece was over I felt the most overwhelming sense of beauty that perhaps I have ever experienced. It was deeply personal I suppose because I knew so many of the people in the audience and had lost faith in so many of them and then bam they were changed. At least for those few seconds you had brought complete peace to those 3,000 people. It was the most amazing thing.

James Sepulvado, Cuyamaca College

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