Somnia Mortem for Wind Ensemble

Chosen as a top 10 finalist in the 2016 Association of Texas Small School Bands Composition Competition

Duration: 8 minutes

Grade 3


Also sold through J.W. Pepper.

Somnia Mortem, Latin for “the dreams of death,” was written after a particularly difficult and turbulent period of my young life. The work itself is not so much an examination of my own experiences with death, but rather a musical and philosophical journey inspired heavily by the words of Khalil Gibran. I happened across his “On Death” and found the words so moving and beautiful I felt compelled to read them over and over again. Eventually, the images I kept seeing became musical thoughts. At the same time, I had been reading and researching the difference between Eastern and Western world philosophies on death, as well as examining death as a more common occurrence – death as the end of one thing and the beginning of another (say, a career or friendship). Quite coincidentally, while all this was happening, I was able to consistently remember my dreams for the first time in my life, and with great detail. All of these factors coincided to inspire this work for wind band – to celebrate the figurative “death” of one era of my life, and the beginning of another more beautiful one.


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