'Adventures to an Unknown Place', subtitled '5 miniatures after 2 authors, a poet, an explorer and a fictional stuffed
bear) is a composition for the standard Brass Quintet with the addition of a Drum Kit, and originally composed for
Manchester-based Cobalt Brass.The 5 'miniatures' each take inspiration from a quote by authors, poets and ficitonal stuffed
bears(!) relating to the idea of adventure, with each movement exploring the meanings of the quotes.
1. Adventure is just bad planning... (Roald Amundsen)
- This movement is a light-hearted quasi-comedy for the quintet, delving into the many ways brass performers
(and composers!) can plan badly, whether it be through under-preparation, using mutes when not needed, and
generally feeling very disjointed from an overall cohesive musical picture.
2. Two Roads Diverged in a wood... (Robert Frost)
- The 2nd movement takes the idea of 2 musical 'roads' diverging towards and away from one another, with a
constant semi-tone dischord spanning the length of the movement, and small musical fragments using this as their
centre point from which they 'diverge' in terms of counterpoint and dynamic.
3. You’re Braver Than You Believe, Stronger Than You Seem, and Smarter Than You Think
(Winnie the Pooh)
- The 3rd movement itself is broken down into 3 main segments - entitled Belief, Strength and Wisdom,
each of which is interspersed by a widely recognisable 'leitmotif' relating to the quoter!
4. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing (Helen Keller)
- Here, the music takes on a more upbeat and valiant feel to represent the words in the quote, bouncing between compound
and duple time signatures to give the music a sense of uncertainty and 'adventure' whilst this is enhanced by a series of quite
sudden and dramatic dynamic changes.
5. You only know you are truly alive when you're living among lions....... (Karen Blixen)
- Finally, the 5th miniature is one of a much more reflective nature, yet bold and strong in it's harmony. An ascending series
of parallel 5th's which the main melodic material sits upon drives the strong harmonic undercurrent, with the movement driving
towards, and dying away from the dynamic climax of the music.