My Brother's Brain

A Symphony for Winds

Carter Pann

Performing Ensemble: Wind Ensemble
Duration: 00:29:00
Publisher: Theodore Presser Company
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

There is no one person on the planet I resemble more closely in mind, soul, and general Human rhythm, than my younger brother Alex. This may seem an obvious statement, but our similarities have, over the years, come to resonate with incredible gravity on my whole being. We do not reside in the same area, I am not aware of his day-to-day achievements and failures, his highs and lows are mostly lost to me these days. We keep in touch with a somewhat waning regularity. Growing up together (5 years his senior) I was a typical older brother, exercising my greater strength and cunning on a kid who would inevitably grow up to eclipse me with his sheer brainpower, and ultimately forgive my well-aimed indiscretions. I look back on his mental feats often from our younger years and swell with silent pride that this person is my brother, that he is who I resemble in a multitude of likenesses, and that I had the privilege to grow in close parallel with him into our adulthoods.

My Brother?s Brain, A Symphony for Winds is a triptych of sound paintings describing the man as remember him in our earlier years together.

I. The Inventions ? to my brother?s uncompromising craft
The opening movement is a childlike look into the mind of a young inventor who created little tracks on pulleys with fulcrums; who re-wired household appliances; a teenager who took entire automobiles apart and reassembled them (sometimes interchangeably between other automobiles); and a young adult who worked with kilns and torches to forge newer, more fuel-efficient engines. In his twenties my brother was, and remains to this day, the finest automobile mechanic I know.

II. Demonsphere ? on my brother?s struggle
Diabolical from beginning to end, this scherzo shares it capricious character with Scarbo from Ravel?s 3-movemenb piano work, Gaspard de la nuit. That said, the spotlight is on the opening of Brahms? Symphony No. 1. Quoted verbatim and bloated to monstrous proportions, the Brahms serves as a dark hallucination when the troubled mind finally splits apart (evoked by his opening motive over the pedal C), no longer functioning properly in the real world. More technically demanding than the other two movements combined, Demonsphere is a tour de force for large wind ensemble, asking each of the 55 individual players to bring their sharpest minds and quickest wits to every passage on the page a breakneck speed. This movement explores the mental struggles my brother suffered mostly during his teen years and into his twenties. It was not uncommon to hear descriptions of sporadic demonic hallucinations coupled with apocalyptic foreboding and dread. These episodes experienced by my brother were as real as day and watching him suffer through them weighed heavily on my heart. To see such ups and downs suffered (sometimes physically) by someone so close in spirit to one?s self was almost too much to bear.

III. The Hymn of Forgiving ? to my brother?s unwavering empathy
The final movements (the longest of the set) celebrates Alex?s integrity and compassion. It was not easy for him to grow up with an egocentric, success-craving older brother. Sitting backseat through much of our childhood he needed to grow a thick skin and a very early age. Ever considerate, congenial and giving by nature, my brother arrived into his thirties with a seasoned temperament and charisma to burn. The Hymn of Forgiving is one brother?s offering to the other, in gratitude of his patient, undeniable, and superlative model character.

Scores & Parts

My Brother's Brain - Full Score - Large

Additional Information

Commission Commissioned by a CBDNA Consortium of 27 Wind Ensembles around the United States for premieres beginning Spring, 2012.
Composition Date 2011
Orchestration 7(Picc.), 3(E.H.), 8(B.Cl., Cb.Cl.), 3(Cbsn.), S.Sax., A.Sax., T.Sax., Bar.Sax. - 6 6 4(B.Tbn.) 4(2 Euph.); Pno/Cel., 2Cb., 2Hp., Timp., 2 Crystal Goblet, 4Perc.


I. The Inventions
II. Demonsphere
III. The Hymn of Forgiving

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