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ERIC WHITACRE

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ERIC WHITACRE
CARPE RANAM PRODUCTIONS GRADE THREE

NATIONAL STANDARDS:
1. Singing, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music. 2. Performing on instruments, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music. 3. Improvising melodies, variations, and accompaniments. 4. Composing and arranging music within specified guidelines. 5. Reading and notating music. 6. Listening to, analyzing, and describing music. 7. Evaluating music and music performances. 8. Understanding relationships between music, the other arts, and disciplines outside the arts. 9. Understanding music in relation to history and culture.

INSTRUCTIONAL OBJECTIVES:
1. Students will compare and contrast the choral version of Lux Aurumque with the symphonic winds version. (7) 2. Students will research the choral version of the piece (analyzing the text, singing their parts) to create a vocal sound when played on their instruments. (1, 2, 6) 3. Students will research the literal translation of the text and create their own translation of a traditional text. (8, 9) 4. Students will research the process of translating choral music into music for winds. Students will arrange a portion of a traditional choral piece for their own for band. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9) 5. Students will perform Lux Aurumque (focusing on tone, attacks and releases, and articulation) and will evaluate their own performance based on specific criteria. (2, 6, 7) 6. Students will discuss the concepts of consonance and dissonance and their roles in Lux Aurumque. (5, 6)

SCORE ANALYSIS
THE COMPOSER
Eric Whitacre is one of the most popular and performed composers of our generation. His first experiences singing in his Las Vegas college choir changed his life, and he completed his first concert work, Go, Lovely, Rose, at the age of 21. Eric went on to the Juilliard School (New York), earned his Master of Music degree and studied with Pulitzer Prize and Oscar-winning composer, John Corigliano. Recent and forthcoming commissions include works for the London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus,!Julian Lloyd Webber and the Philharmonia Orchestra, Rundfunkchor Berlin, The Kings Singers and!Conspirare. His musical, Paradise Lost: Shadows and Wings, won both the ASCAP Harold Arlen award and the Richard Rodgers Award, and earned 10 nominations at the Los Angeles Stage Alliance Ovation Awards. A versatile composer, he has also worked with legendary film composer, Hans Zimmer, co-writing the mermaid theme for feature film Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Erics ground-breaking Virtual Choir 1.0, Lux Aurumque, on YouTube received over a million views in just 2 months, featuring 185 choir members from 12 countries. Eric Whitacres Virtual Choir 2.0 Sleep, released in April 2011, involves over 2,000 voices from 58 countries. An exceptional orator, he was honored to address the U.N. Leaders programme (2010) and give a TED Talk (TED.com, March 2011) earning the first full standing ovation of the conference. Signing a core classical recording contract with Universal/Decca, Whitacre joined the handful of composers to have secured an exclusive, long-term recording deal. His debut album, Light & Gold, released in October 2010, became the No 1 Classical Album in the US and UK charts within a week. His music has been featured on multiple commercial and independent recordings. Whitacre has also recently joined Storms Special Bookings division which was set up to run alongside the model agency to source prestigious commercial and creative collaborations for clients beyond the fashion industry. Among leading sportsmen and actors, Storm Special Bookings also represent other musicians including Michael Bubl, Paolo Nutini and Lily Allen. An accomplished composer, conductor and lecturer, Eric was a Visiting Fellow and Composer in Residence at Cambridge University (Sidney Sussex College, UK) in 2010, addressed the UN Leaders programme, and closed the first session of the TED conference in California in March 2011, speaking about his Virtual Choir. As a conductor, Whitacre has appeared with hundreds of professional and educational ensembles throughout the world. In the last ten years he has conducted concerts of his

choral and symphonic music in the US, Japan, Australia, China, Singapore, South America and much of Europe. In October 2010, Whitacre conducted the world premiere of Songs of Immortality, a work commissioned by the London Symphony Chorus with the London Symphony Orchestra at The Barbican Centre in London. Conducting engagements in 2010-11 include appearances in Auditorium Theatre (Chicago), Carnegie Hall (NY), Disney Hall (LA), in Japan, Germany and other European cities including London. Many of Whitacres works have entered the standard choral and symphonic repertories and have become the subject of several scholarly works and doctoral dissertations. His works Water Night, Cloudburst, Sleep, Lux Aurumque, A Boy and a Girl are among the most popular contemporary choral works. His Ghost Train,!Vegas and!October have achieved equal success in the symphonic wind community. Whitacre has received composition awards from the Barlow International Composition Competition, the ACDA and the American Composers Forum. In 2001, he became the youngest recipient ever awarded the coveted Raymond C. Brock commission by the ACDA. Eric Whitacre is one of four judges for the Abbey Road 80th Anniversary Anthem Competition and will conduct the recording of the winning entries with professional singers and the London Symphony Orchestra at Abbey Road studio one this autumn. Eric Whitacre was born in Nevada (U.S.) and currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife (Grammy award winning soprano, Hila Plitmann) and their son. (Information taken from ericwhitacre.com)

THE PIECE
Lux Aurumque began its life as an a cappella choral work that I wrote in the fall of 2000. When the Texas Music Educators Association and a consortium of bands commissioned me to adapt it for symphonic winds, I rewrote the climax and included the grand Bliss these from my opera Paradise Lost. Lux Aurumque received its premiere at the 2005 conference of the Texas Music Educators Association and is dedicated with deep admiration for my dear friend Gary Green. Lux Aurumque in its original SATB choral form was commissioned by the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay, and is dedicated with love to my great friend Dr. Jo Michael Scheibe. The TTBB arrangement of Lux Aurumque was commissioned by the Gay Mens Chorus of Los Angeles. It is dedicated to its conductor, Dr. Bruce Mayhall. The String Orchestra transcription was commissioned by the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic. Whitacre conducted the premiere. (Information taken from program notes and ericwhitacre.com)

THE TEXT
Light, warm and heavy as pure gold and angels sing softly to the new-born babe. Edward Esch Lux, calida gravisque pura velut aurum et canunt angeli molliter modo natum -translated to Latin by Charles Anthony Silvestri

After deciding upon the poem by Edward Esch (I was immediately struck by its genuine, elegant simplicity), I had it translated into the Latin by the celebrated American poet Charles Anthony Silvestri. A simple approach was essential to the success of the work, and I waited patiently for the tight harmonies to shimmer and glow. -- Eric Whitacre (from ericwhitacre.com)

THE STYLE & TECHNIQUE


Lux Aurumque is not a technical piece in terms of rhythm, fingerings, or agility. On the contrary, it is an intense study in dynamics, intonation, articulation, balance, ensemble motion, and tone. The ensemble must be able to not only play the piece with silent attacks and releases as a unit, but also at a soft dynamic level. Daily exercises should focus on balancing major and minor chords within the ensemble (Bach chorales or other chorale studies), establishing dynamics within the balanced ensemble sound, long tones, and creating a dark, open sound. Lux Aurumque is filled with suspensions that, if treated correctly, leave the audience breathless. These extended harmonies (9ths, 11ths, and beyond) can be difficult to tune. Balance between consonance and dissonance is paramount - dissonances should be played purposefully so they are not heard as mistakes.

THE FORM
A section m. 1-8 statement of 2 bar phrase, repeated only in woodwinds; oboe solo m. 4 brass enters and elaborates, horn solo descent into B section, tremolos in woodwinds Bliss theme from Paradise Lost full band softens into low brass and woodwinds to prepare for return of A theme Shift to major tonality, hints of original A theme

A transition B section transition

m. 9-16 m. 18-21 m. 22-29 m. 30-35

A Coda

m. 36-43 m. 44-end

RESOURCES
Teaching Music Through Performance in Band, Vol. 6 www.ericwhitacre.com http://web.mac.com/anthonysilvestri/Poetry/Nox_Aurumque.html Videos: Virtual Choir performance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7o7BrlbaDs Virtual Choir conducting track: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uh1c2xWVWiA Recordings and Scores: Lux Aurumque, Eric Whitacre (both choral and symphonic winds) Nox Aurumque Paradise Lost, Eric Whitacre Sleep, Eric Whitacre Cloudburst, Eric Whitacre

WARM-UP ACTIVITIES
BREATHING EXERCISE
Lux Aurumque has a natural, breathing flow throughout the piece, especially in the opening section. Practice breathing by inhaling for four counts and exhaling for four counts. Quickly assess correct breathing technique by watching for rising shoulders and listening for audible inhaling and exhaling. It may help for students to stand up at first - correct posture is extremely important for proper breathing. By gradually increasing the number of beats for exhalation and decreasing the number of beats so that this pattern is eventually reached: inhale for one beat, exhale for seven beats. This is the breathing pattern for m. 1-8 as well as many other places within the piece. For additional practice, have students exhale in the manner that they would play these parts in the piece. Have them crescendo for four beats and decrescendo for three. To stabilize attacks and releases, add a syllable to their breathing such as doo. Conduct this exercise as you would conduct this piece. It may even be helpful to conduct larger portions of the piece or even the entire piece while students just breath with you. This can isolate ensemble attack and release problems without the additional worries of instrument problems. This is a great exercise for the beginning of a rehearsal before students even begin playing their instruments - they can begin using their air correctly and working as one unified ensemble before adding in extra variables.

SINGING/AUDIATION
Its time to add in another variable - pitches. However, the students wont need their instruments! Theyll be singing their parts. Start with the opening 2-measure theme and have brass players listen and assess the woodwind players pitch and tone. Play all the pitches of the opening chord on the piano and have the students sing their pitches in measure one. It may be helpful to have the vocal score - all the pitches are the same in the opening eight bars. Have students identify themselves as the root, minor third, or fifth of the chord. Tune this chord and mention to the students that the minor third should be slightly raised in order for the minor chord to sound in tune. Once the first chord is tuned, move to measure two. The chord does not fit within a simple major or minor sonority, so at first, movement from m. 1 to 2 should be emphasized. For instance, in flutes 1 and 2, oboes 1 and 2, and clarinet 1, measure one is a C and in measure two, parts split into a C and D. Tune this major 2nd. Work this carefully with all parts (there are four total - SATB).

To show why Whitacre used open syllables, first have the ensemble sing the first two measures on ah, then move to loo. The darkness of the loo is what the ensemble should focus on transferring to their instruments.

LONG TONES
Start the entire band on a concert C at a comfortable mezzo forte. When a solid, in-tune mezzo forte C is achieved, motion to the band to decrescendo. Establish mezzo piano. Continue this process all the way to pianissimo, all while focusing on a dark, open and balanced tone, solid attacks and releases. Next, divide the band to form a C minor triad and repeat the process. This is a great transition into the softer passages of the piece.

ARTICULATION EXERCISE
Point out to the band that Whitacre did not include any articulation notation beyond slurs in his piece. This is somewhat common in adaptations from vocal scores. Correct articulations are easy to identify in softer passages - no tongue, vocal, but present. But what about the more triumphant excerpts such as the Bliss theme at measure 22? I suggest a pillow attack - give sustained emphasis to the initiation of the pitch, but not with a harsh, tongued, fortepiano sound (like hugging a pillow). To create this sound, have students play quarter notes on a concert C at piano as they would play the opening of the piece. When this is established, crescendo ever-soslightly. If any harsh accent, bad attack, or bright sound is heard, stop the band and start over at piano. This will show the band what their limits are, and help them to give strong volume without harsh, bright sounds.

ASSESSMENT
See the students online activities at www.ksu.edu/cmenc/CMENC/Webquest.html

TEXT/HARMONIC ANALYSIS
Students will listen to the choral version of the piece (http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=D7o7BrlbaDs&feature=related) while reading the choral score and write the Latin text in their own instrumental parts. In addition, students will watch Eric Whitacres Conducting Track of his Virtual Choir for Lux Aurumque (http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=uh1c2xWVWiA). Students will write in Whitacres comments and suggestions for the vocalists. In addition, after participating in a lesson that addresses consonance and dissonance, students will write a C above parts in their music that are consonant and a D above chords that are dissonant. After the assignment is due, their parts will be checked for completion and the parts of the piece that include text will be sung in class.

TRANSLATION POETRY
Students will read Charles Anthony Silvestris account of his translation of the text into Latin (http://web.mac.com/anthonysilvestri/Poetry/Lux_Aurumque.html). They will also read his account of writing the pieces counterpart, Nox Aurumque (http:// web.mac.com/anthonysilvestri/Poetry/Nox_Aurumque.html). Students will look at the differences between the processes of writing both pieces. The text for the traditional song, Amazing Grace, will be provided for the students. They will take this text and translate it into a different language. Students will be given a variety of selected resources, from translation tools (translate.google.com) to a thesaurus (thesaurus.com) and will secure help from the foreign language teachers at the school. Like Silvestri, students may not be able to directly translate the poem word-for-word, but will have to take artistic liberties to make the poem into a holistic musical unit. Grading will be based on the following rubric:

Category

Completion

10 points The student has translated the complete first verse of Amazing Grace.

Conventions

5 points The student has translated the first verse of Amazing Grace, but one or more important words are incorrectly translated or left out. The students work exhibits The students work has a correct spelling and few spelling or grammar for their particular grammatical errors for their language. particular language.

0 points - REVISE The student has not translated the correct verse or the poem is not easily recognizable.

Flow

The students work does not exhibit correct spelling or grammar for their particular language. The students work exhibits The students work is The students lyrics are a natural, musical flow and singable with the Amazing not singable with the is easily singable with the Grace melody, but lacks melody of Amazing melody of Amazing Grace. natural flow. Grace. Total: _________/30

ARRANGING ACTIVITY
Students will also take a traditional, four-part arrangement of Amazing Grace and arrange one verse for either woodwind or brass ensemble. A transposing Sibelius template will be provided so that students do not need to input instruments or transpose - all they have to do is use the correct pitches and voice them in a manner that is befitting of their ensemble. Grading will be based on the following rubric:

Category

Completion

Proper Notation

10 points The student has arranged a complete verse (16 bars minimum) of Amazing Grace for the prescribed ensemble. The students score exhibits correct usage of musical notation and includes proper articulations, phrase markings, dynamics, and a tempo marking. The melody can be clearly heard throughout the piece and is notated so that it can be heard.

5 points The student has arranged a verse of Amazing Grace, but it is either incomplete or is written for the incorrect ensemble. The students score exhibits correct usage of musical notation and includes 2 out of 3 of the aforementioned markings.

Melody

The supporting harmony is balanced and shows Harmony/Consistency consistent, playable lines within the parts. All instruments are written in a comfortable range. Instrument ranges

Format

The students hands in a written-pitch score with legible spacing and includes a title, page and measure numbers, and their name.

0 points - REVISE The student has not arranged the correct piece of music or the piece is not easily recognizable. The students score does not exhibit correct usage of musical notation and includes 1 or none of the aforementioned markings. The melody can be heard The melody was not for the majority of the correctly written or is piece, but it is obscured by not recognizable. other instruments or cannot be heard. The supporting harmony is The supporting harmony fairly balanced. Some is unbalanced and does parts seem inconsistent not follow the correct and parts seem to jump voicings for the around. separate parts. All instruments are written Parts are written out of within their playable range, range for multiple but some are not instruments. comfortable for highschool students or are out of character for the piece. The student hands in a The student hands in a written-pitch score with transposed score or awkward spacing or does leaves out more than not include one of the one of the aforementioned aforementioned components. components. Total: _________/60

PERFORMANCE REVIEW
After performing Lux Aurumque in concert, students will review their performance based on the criteria provided in the following rubric: Category 10 points The student states his/ her opinions about the performance and evidences them by citing specic measures in the piece. The students work exhibits correct spelling and grammar and is at least two pages double-spaced. 5 points The student states his/her opinions about the performance and cites some specic references. The students work has a few spelling or grammatical errors and/or is less than two pages doublespaced. The student addresses The student matters related to addresses at least 3 balance, energy, ow, of the 6 tempo, intonation, and aforementioned concert etiquette. details. 0 points - REVISE The student fails to accurately evidence his/her opinions.

Evidence

Conventions

Details

The students work does not exhibit correct spelling or grammar and does not meet the length requirements. The students fails to address the aforementioned details. Total: _________/30

Composition: Lux Aurumque Composer: Eric Whitacre Measure # Form Phrase Structure Tempo Dynamics Meter/Rhythm Tonality Harmonic Motion Orchestration Text Whitacre's comments Lux, p Adagio; Molto Legato (quarter note = 56) mp p mp p mp p mp A 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Common time half and (throughout) whole notes consonance dissonance C, D,E-at, G, B-at (v +4 +min. 6) consonance dissonance C, D,E-at, G, B-at consonance dissonance C, D,E-at, G, B-at consonance dissonance C, D,E-at, G, B-at

C minor

C minor

C minor

C minor

WOODWINDS ONLY Lux, Lux,

oboe solo (still woodwinds only) Lux,

Notice the crescendo and decrescendo - permeates the piece. "Teach the audience how to breath." Pure and perfect "oo" in Lux with the tiniest "x."

Page 1

Composition: Lux Aurumque Composer: Eric Whitacre 9 A' 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 transition 19 20

mf

mf

mf

mp

mp

p p

mf

mp

tremolos in woodwinds suspended consonance dissonance harmonies F, A-at, Bsuspended A-at Major at, C, D, Eharmonies at horn solo pura sopranos take a little time

consonance

dissonance F, A-at, Bat, C, D, Eat

consonance dissonance descending motion........................... F, A-at, Bat, C, D, E- descending motion........................... at (no utes or oboes) da gra vis-que

cluster sound

A-at Major

A-at Major

cluster sound

FULL ENSEMBLE ca -li Nice solid "ca" da ca -li

no double reeds or tuba/euph (saxophones layered in with clarinets m. 20)

gra-vis-que gra-vis-que

Slight roll of the "r" and on the"vi" - a little string bow (emphasize). Smallest crescendodecrescendo even on the last "gravisque"

"Fill yo

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Composition: Lux Aurumque Composer: Eric Whitacre 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 transition 31 32 33 34 35

B - "Bliss" theme from Paradise Lost

slightly more energy mf mp f quarter notes are important! Major tonality, but lled with suspensions (progressions in fourths and fths) F major B-at major E-at major D-at major F major A-at major E-at major D-at major A-at

relaxing in preparation for return of A mf mf half, quarter, quarter mp

os in woodwinds

cluster sound

cluster sound

B-at

A-at

B-at

A-at

B-at

double reeds or tuba/euph; xophones layered in with inets m. 20) pura velut aurum "Fill your sound with wonder and with awe" ca-

minus utes and oboes nunt ca-

minus saxophones and trumpets nunt canunt mol

Accent "ca" and decay in "nun.t" Tenors and basses are the celli

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Composition: Lux Aurumque Composer: Eric Whitacre 36 A" 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 CODA 44 45 46 47

mp

mp

mp

p quarter (rest) x3

pp

pp

consonance dissonance C, D,E-at, G, B-at (v +4 +min. 6)

consonance dissonance consonance C, D,E-at, C minor G, B-at

KEY CHANGE to parallel Major C minor C minor C minor C Major

C minor

C minor

ONLY bassoons (no contra), clarinets, and saxophones throat register A until end of piece) li - ter na tum not glottal "um" - add an h natum

(clarinet 1 holds

FULL ENSEMBLE minus ute 3-4, ob natum natum

Page 4

Composition: Lux Aurumque Composer: Eric Whitacre 48 49 50 51 52 53 54

pp

pp quarter (rest) REST quarter (rest)

ppp tied whole notes

MBLE minus ute 3-4, oboes, contrabassoon,and trumpets natum. slowly fading away...no glottals!

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