Tower of the Winds

Title: Tower of the Winds
Date of Composition: Copyright © 2010 Daniel Bukvich
Ensemble Set-up: Bukvich Symphonic Band Diagram
Performance Time: 10:53
Publisher: Manuscript
Performances This piece was performed by the 2012 MENC All-National Honor Ensembles concert on June 24, 2012 at the John F. Kennedy Performing Arts Center in Washington, D.C. Dan Bukvich was honored to be the guest conductor for the band portion of the concert.
Program Notes:

Tower of the Winds was composed in memory of the great American composer Russell Peck and is a tribute to his classic band composition (and the first “theater piece”) Cave, also known as Cave of the Winds.

The reader’s voice that you hear at the beginning of Tower of the Winds will have more referential meaning if you are familiar with Russell Peck’s notes for Cave…


Below is a prose poem I wrote for Cave, as printed in the front of the score.

In the Cave there is no sunlight. Everyone has lost sight,
wearing sunglasses over their atrophied eyes.
Plants abound in the Cave, nourished by vapors and black light.
The musicians of the Cave never read music. How could they?
All music is by feel. No one is watching. No inhibitions.
Everyone moves to the music, ensembles in unison.

The Cave is located on a Sethian node
Three miles below the earth's crust,
Underneath a cornfield in Dekalb, Illinois.
The rock walls ring to one unchanging pulse,
Upon which all the Cave dwellers
Build their spontaneous symphonies.

Why the poem, and what is a Sethian node? When I was on the faculty at Northern Illinois University and wrote Cave (1975), the head of the Music Department was a believer in Seth, an Egyptian mystic from the age of the pyramids supposedly channeling through a woman in California, who wrote books explaining Seth’s knowledge. According to Seth there were special places on Earth that were energy nodes causing powerful things to happen.

At the time I wrote Cave experiments with theatre aspects in wind ensemble performance were very interesting to me, and Larry Livingston, the Wind Ensemble Music Director at Northern Illinois University, was a leader in this direction. So, the inspiration for the inclusion of the poem was that Cave has art option for theatrical performance—with musicians wearing dark glasses, using no music stands, and players moving to the music on stage (as noted in the score.) The poem thus evokes what could happen in actual performance.

Video Recordings: Details about recording(s):
  • Performer(s): Johnson Band, University of New Hampshire Summer Youth Music School
  • Conductor: Dan Bukvich
  • Location: University of New Hampshire
  • Date recorded: Summer 2010

Video(s) available:

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