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Escher's Dream for wind ensemble invites the performer and listener to reflect on renowned surrealist graphic artist M.C Escher's (1898-1972) black and white print Dream (Mantis religiosa) - and even to imagine Escher's own thought processes, dreams, and intent behind one of his more cryptic works.
Dream (Mantis religiosa) depicts a human-sized praying mantis (Mantis religiosa or European mantis) perched on the chest of a sleeping bishop dressed in full regalia. Escher's characteristic stone architecture frames the scene with the star-filled night sky morphing into a curtainous backdrop, as the mantis looks back, staring directly at the viewer, crossing the fourth wall, inviting interpretation.
The ethereal and slightly creepy opening invites the listener into 'Escher's dream'. Escher's graphic yet surreal style is represented by rhythmic and time signature patterns, harmonic tension, and tonal colours. The interplay between Escher's two characters and their environment can be heard throughout the composition: the bishop in the bell-chimes and stately theme, the mantis in the staccato ostinato figures, the stars in the piccolo and glock, and the heavy stone architecture in the basses; with the upper woodwinds and percussion quickly and gently ushering us back into consciousness: leaving us wondering what it all meant...
Instrumentation: Picc, Flute 1 2, Oboe 1 2, Bassoon, Bb Clar 1 2 3, Bs Clar, A Sax 1 2, T Sax, B Sax, F Horn 1 2, Bb Tpt 1 2 3, Trom 1 2 3, Euph (BC & TC), Tuba, Dbl Bass, Timpani (opt.), Glock, Marimba, Cymbals, Sn Dr, Tenor Drum, Bass Drum, Triangle, Tambourine, Tub Bells (5 percussionists can cover all of the parts... 4 will work well as a minimum)