Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web.
Today is April 1st and that normally means a few “April Fools” jokes are likely to find their way onto social media. We here at Maslanka Weekly thought that today might be a fun time to showcase some creative arrangements of David’s Give Us This Day that we have come across.
Give Us This Day
From David’s Program Note:
The words “Give us this day” are, of course, from the Lord’s Prayer, but the inspiration for this music is Buddhist. I have recently read a book by the Vietnamese Bhuddist monk Thich Nhat Hahn (pronounced “Tick Nat Hahn”) entitled For a Future to be Possible. His premise is that a future for the planet is only possible if individuals become deeply mindful of themselves, deeply connected to who they really are. While this is not a new idea, and something that is an ongoing struggle for everyone, in my estimation it is the issue for world peace. For me, writing music, and working with people to perform music, are two of those points of deep mindfulness.
Music makes the connection to reality, and by reality I mean a true awakeness and awareness. Give Us This Day gives us this very moment of awakeness and awareness so that we can build a future in the face of a most dangerous and difficult time.
I chose the subtitle, “Short Symphony for Wind Ensemble,” because the music is not programmatic in nature. It has a full-blown symphonic character, even though there are only two movements. The music of the slower first movement is deeply searching, while that of the highly energized second movement is at times both joyful and sternly sober. The piece ends with a modal setting of the choral melody “Vater Unser in Himmelreich” (Our Father in Heaven) – No. 110 from the 371 four-part chorales by Johann Sebastian Bach.
Movement I: Moderately slow
Have you ever thought to yourself, “I really love Give Us This Day and I really love saxophone ensembles. Is there a way I can capture the melodic/harmonic majesty of Give Us This Day and have it be performed entirely by saxophones? Particularly, by one person playing each part on a separate track? Wearing different shirts that alternate between purple, light blue, and off-white?” Well, today your dream is a reality. Watch below as Chris Bryant gives a beautiful interpretation of this music using nothing but his collection of saxophones.
Movement II: Very Fast
Have you ever thought to yourself, “I really love Give Us This Day and I really love progressive rock & heavy metal. Is there a way I can capture the rhythmic intensity of Give Us This Day and have it be written for a progressive rock/heavy metal band?” If you have been waiting for this your whole life, please don’t wait another second. Watch below as Eric Carr presents his “head-banging” arrangement of this music.
We would love to hear from you! If you know of any outstanding performances of David Maslanka’s music on the web, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.