Dreaming the Wild Spirit-Wind Dance


Many cultures have viewed the four winds as spirit forces, entities with power and grace, capable of entering the lives of human beings and changing their fates. Dreaming the Wild Spirit-Wind Dance is about wind with special powers, for example sorcerers, who may become the wind, merging their identities with natural forces, especially in lucid dreams that act as a bridge to the other world. During these lucid dreams--and I am thinking in particular of the type of lucid dreaming described by writer Carlos Castaneda in his Don Juan series--the ordinary preconceptions that imprison us in our sometimes narrow world of perception are suspended, and the dreamer is free to summon other wind spirits, thereby gathering the awesome energies of nature in a ritualistic “dance of creation.”

In Dreaming the Wild Spirit-Wind Dance, for solo clarinet and wind ensemble, the solo clarinet dreams the summoning and gathering of other spirit winds. The ritualistic drumming that drives the dance-like ending of the piece is perhaps unusual for a concerto. This is one of three concertos that Brian Norcross has asked me to compose in the last few years for soloists and winds, the previous two featuring a solo percussionist and saxophonist. The present concerto was written especially for Doris Hall-Gulati and the Franklin and Marshall Symphonic Winds and was composed in the fall of 1989.

Selected Performances of Dreaming the Wild Spirit-Wind Dance

Premiere: April 22, 1990, Doris Hall-Gulati, clarinet, F&M Symphonic Winds, Brian Norcross, conductor, Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, PA

© John Carbon 2015