Euphonistic Dance

Medium: Solo Music

It was a dark and starry night many years ago, but I remember like it was yesterday. I was in the woods when I heard the sounds of drums and music from the mountain above. At first the sparkling sound of the small river overshadowed the music of the little people, but their music grew louder as I was able to hear the clanging and banging of metal and wood objects coming down the mountain close to my campsite. The legend says that the happy tribe of people called themselves the “Euphons”. They live deep in the mountains but like Big Foot and the Loch Ness Monster have never been substantiated by reputable sources. As the sounds of the drums choked out the symphony of the river they started playing their horns. Those horns, yes those horns, nothing that I have ever heard before or since would come close to the sound of those funny looking horns. They continued parading to the clearing by the river where they took their positions to start the formal dance, this Euphonistic Dance never before seen by human eyes. Observing from behind some bushes, I was careful not to be seen. What would they do with the likes of me? Even though these creatures did not seem sinister, I did not want to take a chance. I never heard of anyone before who lived to tell of the Euphonistic Dance. The music of the dance started bombastically, like a commotion of extremes. Then a solo dancer emerged out of the cacophonous texture as a single beautiful melody was played. Soon after the angry cacophony returned, the mediating solo dancer was joined by some of the other dancers, again accompanied by a beautiful solo melody. The dance continued with interchanges of cacophony and mediation with the debate crescendoing to a climax where all could dance to the same tune. I composed Euphonistic Dance in 1983 and tried to capture as best I could my experience of that evening. There has never been another sighting of the Euphons since that night, but I often hear the song of the Euphonistic Dance, especially when experiencing cacophony in today’s society. Euphonistic Dance was premiered by myself (euphonium) with Michael Dewart (piano) at Mansfield State College in Pennsylvania March 19, 1983. There are two recordings – on Mark Records performed by Mary Ann Craig (youtube and on Albany records by Ed Morse (youtube


1-Mar-83 by Gregory Fritze


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