The Seeker

The Seeker2019-06-10T22:36:32+00:00

Project Description

Wind Ensemble
2016
10 min.
Grade 5

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Listen Now

2017 VA All-State Symphonic Band, Dr. Gary Green, cond.
Live performance (premiere), 8 April 2017

Preview Score

Instrumentation

Picc Fl-2 Ob E♭Cl B♭Cl-3 BCl CbCl Bsn ASx-2 TSx BSx | Hn-4 B♭Tpt-3 Trb-3 Euph(opt.) Tuba-2 | Hp Pno E.Org Perc-6

  • Piccolo
  • Flute 1, 2
  • Oboe
  • Clarinet in E♭
  • Clarinet in B♭ 1, 2, 3
  • Bass Clarinet in B♭
  • Contrabass Clarinet in B♭
  • Bassoon
  • Alto Saxophone 1, 2
  • Tenor Saxophone
  • Baritone Saxophone
  • Horn in F 1, 2, 3, 4
  • Trumpet in B♭ 1, 2, 3
  • Trombone 1, 2
  • Bass Trombone
  • Euphonium
  • Tuba
  • Piano
  • Timpani
  • Required Percussion (5 players)
    • Percussion 1
      • Vibraphone (cello or bass bow)
    • Percussion 2
      • Xylophone
      • Marimba
    • Percussion 3
      • Anvil
      • Sus. Cym. (Lg.)
      • Sizzle Cym.
      • Orch. Bells
      • Crash Cym.
      • Tam-tam
    • Percussion 4
      • Crash Cymbals
      • Tam-tam
      • Hanging metal piece (a ringing sound; a short length of railroad track, a very large wrench, or equivalent)
      • Bass Drum
    • Percussion 5
      • Tom-toms (Sm., Med., Lg.)
      • Bongos
      • Tenor Drum
      • Snare Drum
      • Woodblock
For wind ensembles and concertos, please use one player per part. For symphonies and concert pieces, more players may be used as desired. David’s full statement.

Commissioned by

The Seeker is commissioned in honor of the 75th Anniversary of the Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors’ Association.

Premiere

26 February 1982 by the Northwestern University Symphonic Wind Ensemble, John P. Paynter, conductor, at Pick-Staiger Hall, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL.
8 April 2017 by the VA All-State Symphonic Band, Dr. Gary Green, conductor, at Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors’ Association All-Virginia Band, Chorus, and Orchestra, Manassas, VA.

Program Note

In Buddhist tradition, the bodhisattvas are the seekers after enlightenment. It can be said that we are all seekers on this path, the path of self-understanding, of the heart of compassion, of caring for the world.

The bodhisattvas are put forward as models for our own seeking:
Avalokiteshvara: the way of listening in order to relieve the suffering in the world.
Manjushri: the way of being still and looking deeply into the heart of things and people.
Samantabhadra: the way of acting with the eyes and heart of compassion.
Ksitigarbha: the way of being present where there is darkness, suffering, oppression, and despair.
Sadāparibhūta: the way of never disparaging or underestimating any living being.

The Seeker is subtitled “a symphonic movement.” It opens with a slow melody that feels like an Appalachian folk song. It transitions suddenly and sharply into the main body of the work, an energetic and exuberant romp at a very speedy tempo. The opening melody returns in the context of a chorale, my recomposition of Christe, der du bist der Tag und Licht (Christ, you who are day and light) from the 371 four-part chorales of Bach. The movement concludes with a partial recap of the fast music, and a very brief coda.

Program Note by David Maslanka (January 2017)

Further Reading

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 106, Dances

30 June 2020|0 Comments

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we feature three compositions in which David experiments with dance forms: Montana Music: Three Dances for Percussion, Concerto for Clarinet and Wind Ensemble, and Concerto No. 2 for Piano and Wind Ensemble.

From the Maslanka Archive – No. 26, Joseph Lulloff Performs Saxophone Concerto in Lucerne

25 June 2020|0 Comments

From the Maslanka Archive features media and stories of David's life and work. This week, we are excited to feature a classic performance of the Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Wind Ensemble with Gregg Hanson leading Joseph Lulloff, Alto Saxophone and the University of Arizona Wind Ensemble from the 2001 World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE) Conference.

From the Maslanka Archive – No. 12, O Earth, O Stars With Kim Risinger and Adriana Ransom

19 March 2020|0 Comments

From the Maslanka Archive features media and stories of David's life and work. This week, we are excited to feature pictures from David's residency with Stephen K. Steele at Illinois State University prior to a concert featuring David's O Earth, O Stars performed by Kim Risinger (Flute), Adriana Ransom (Cello), and the Illinois State University Wind Symphony.

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 91, David’s Symphonies Around the World

16 March 2020|0 Comments

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we travel from the corn fields of Iowa - to the exciting streets of Paris - to the historic sights of northern Portugal to feature three new performances of favorite symphonies: Symphony No. 9Symphony No. 10, and Symphony No. 5.

From the Maslanka Archive – No. 10, Sea Dreams With Nancy O’Neill and Saul Garland

6 March 2020|0 Comments

From the Maslanka Archive features media and stories of David's life and work. This week, we are excited to feature pictures from David's residency with Stephen K. Steele at Illinois State University prior to a concert featuring David's Sea Dreams performed by Nancy O'Neill (Horn), Saul Garland (Horn), and the Illinois State University Wind Symphony.

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 89, University of Texas Wind Ensemble & Symphony No. 10

2 March 2020|0 Comments

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we feature Jerry Junkin and the University of Texas Wind Ensemble in a new performance of Symphony No. 10 as well as an interview of Matthew Maslanka by Jerry Junkin about the genesis and completion of the symphony.

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 88, New Performances of Recitation Book, Movement V

25 February 2020|0 Comments

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we feature two new amazing performances of "Fanfare and Variations on 'Durch Adams Fall'" from Recitation Book for Saxophone Quartet. We also feature a new video tutorial by Joey Resendez for altissimo fingering suggestions on the soprano saxophone.

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 84, More Amazing Saxophone Performances

28 January 2020|0 Comments

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we feature three amazing performances of some of David’s best saxophone music: Concerto for Saxophone Quartet and Wind Ensemble, "Very Fast" from Sonata for Alto Saxophone and Piano, and "Finale" from Mountain Roads.

From the Maslanka Archive – No. 2, Concerto for Saxophone Quartet and Wind Ensemble

10 January 2020|0 Comments

From the Maslanka Archive features media and stories of David's life and work. This week, we feature pictures from David's residency with his longtime champion, Stephen K. Steele, and the Iridium Saxophone Quartet at Illinois State University prior to the premiere of David's Concerto for Saxophone Quartet and Wind Ensemble, as well as the concert program from the premiere on November 15, 2012.

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 75, New Performances of Chamber Music

26 November 2019|0 Comments

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we feature three new performances of chamber works (or works written with chamber music contained therein): Quintet for Winds No. 4, "Inward" from Concerto for Saxophone Quartet and Wind Ensemble, and David’s transcription of J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations for Saxophone Quartet.

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 74, Time

19 November 2019|0 Comments

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we feature three of David’s works that contemplate the enigma of time: “At This Time” from Songs for the Coming Day, Symphony No. 10: The River of Time, and "A Song for the End of Time" from Song Book for Flute and Wind Ensemble.