Piccolo, 4 Flutes, 2 Oboes, English Horn, Eb Clarinet, 6 Bb Clarinets, Bass Clarinet, 2 Bassoons, Contrabassoon, Soprano Saxophone, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, 3 Trumpets in C, 4 Horns, 2 Trombones, Bass Trombone, Euphonium, Tuba, Timpani, 4 Percussionists,
1: Glockenspiel, Woodblock, Xylophone, Bass Drum
2: Vibraphone, Tambourine, Bongos, Anvil
3: Marimba, Cymbals, Crotales, Brake Drum
4: Crotales, Snare Drum, Wood Block
Piano, and Contrabass
In 2007 in a feat that went largely unnoticed an expedition of ultra-cavers reached the deepest point in the deepest cave on earth in Krubera in the Republic of Georgia. Considered the Mt. Everest of caving, this expedition to the bottom of Krubera was racing against a similar expedition in Mexico’s Cheve cave system both vying for title of world’s deepest cave. Explorers at each camp spent weeks at a time underground in deafening environments and often in absolute darkness. In the book Blind Descent that chronicles this historical accomplishment, author James Tabor touches on an experience all ultra-cavers undergo at some point in their career, a phenomenon known as “The Rapture.”
After weeks underground, absent from normal circadian rhythms, some climbers experience a near crippling onset of emotion, and a primal need to escape. The Rapture is described by climbers as exponentially worse than a panic attack and at times a near religious experience.
While this piece is neither about religion nor super caving, I wanted to capture a blueprint that I think is a universal human experience: the onset of extreme emotion. Similar to extreme emotional states, musical elements in this piece start almost insignificantly and are magnified to their extremes, echoing throughout.