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Doomsday Sonata (op.1)

The Doomsday Sonata had been written in times of global tension, it envisions the diabolical repercusions of what could result if humanity keeps pushing in the same destructive direction.

While ths composition shares the same topic as my other composition 'When the Clock Strikes Midnight', this piece offers no such hope and possibility of redemption at it's conclusion.

Beginning with an important arpgegiated fiigure in the strings, there is a short introduiction which features a brief clarinet solo before we arrive at the 1st theme.

The 1st theme n the key of E minor, is played sorrowfully on guitar. On the third repeat of this theme, the meloncholic rumblings suddenly turn to menace and aggression as the trumpets rise up in anger accompanied by demented woodwinds, thumping timpani and crashing cymbals.

After a brief percussive interlude things settle down, and we are introduced to the second theme which is in the relative key of C# Minor. Although still somewhat melocholic, this theme also posseses a nostalgic quality. The arpegiated figure that was played by violins during the 1st theme is now performed by the woodwinds. The almost fairground like sound that emerges wisfully recalls childhood memories of innocence and of more peaceful times.

The second theme builds in confidence and finally erupts into a new section which arrives in the Parallel key of E major. This new section although sounding more self assurred, mature and confident, has now lost the innocence which the 2nd theme formally possesed. This section also becomes ever more strident and powerful, until it too bursts into a new (development) section.

The development section arises in the key of G Minor (rather than the expected major). The sweet innocence of the 2nd theme returns but has now been cruelly thrown it into a world of chaos and confusion. This theme is now played by trumpets and trombones and has taken on a much heavier and darker presence. Screams can be heard by fluttertounged piccolos, explosions can be heard (and felt) from the pounding of timpani and bass drums along with the crashing of cymbals and tam-tam. The melodic phrasing also becomes fragmented and unpredicatable as this section rises to a hairraising climax!


Things begin to grind to a halt and with a final crash of the hand cymbals we enter the next section. Here we experience a brief respite as the horns, trumpets and strings play a remorseful chrorale which attempts to reflect on the horror it has just experienced. This section concludes with two harp glissandos which then segues into...

...The Recapitulation of the 1st theme. The arpeggiated strings re-emerge but now the tempo is much slower creating a darker more ghostly atmosphere. The english horn mournfully over the melody role which the guitar had previously played. The trumpets threaten to rise up as they once had in the exposision, but now they appear much quieter like a ghostly reminder of what had come before. The main theme is then passed to the french horn and clarinet for it's second repeat. In the final repeat we can hear, played softly on the glockenspiel, the second theme now devoid of any hope. Now the 1st and 2nd themes finally join together, inexplicabily linked. The music descends lower and lower as the arpegiated strings spiral ever downwards.  All that remains is one final apperance of the 2nd theme played murkily on the contrabassoon, before we are left in darkness with one final crash of the tam-tam.

When the Clock Strikes Midnight:

This composition is based on the concept of a doomsday clock which is currently set at 2 1/2 minutes to midnight, the closest it's ever been since 1953. The music itself represents the anxiety, fear but ultimately hope experienced by people in relation to armageddon.

This piece can be split into 3 different parts, the 'anxiety' section, the 'clock' section and the 'humanity' section.  

We start with the 'anxiety' section, the music here represents a general feeling of unease. String arpeggios reach out in hope of solace to a seemingly uncaring and benign universe. In the third repeat of this section a french horn joins the strings adding some warmth and comfort but before long the horn cries out a warning as we enter the 'clock' section.

The 'clock' section is the natural result of when anxiety turns to pure fear. The chimes ring out the midnight hour reminding us of our impending fate, combinations of rasping low brass, distorted guitar, tam-tam and eerie dulchimer create a sense of chaos which climaxes with the timpani and the entire string section blasting out a staccato rhythm.

Next we are back once again to the 'anxiety' section as the fear somewhat subsides, glockenspiel, harp and celeste add a lightness and sense of comfort as we experience a sense of temporary relief, but these elements soon diminish and we are back to where we began; with a repeat of the anxiety section we heard at the beginning, with the strings once again calling out in hope. The french horn makes another entrance and once again adds a sense of much needed warmth, but eventually it cries out yet another warning as the sinister motive from the 'clock' theme re-emerges in the lower sounding instruments.

Just as the music feels like it is once again heading back to the fear represented by the 'clock' theme, a rising pattern starts to occur in the lower instruments, the momentum becomes stronger and with a sudden crash of the cymbals the french horn breaks through and plays a heartfelt solo as we enter the 'humanity' section. The horn is soon joined by the trumpet and the two both play interlocking melodies. The strings are still playing the arpeggios, but now there is a sense that the hope has been fulfilled. At first the trumpet, horn and strings all sound thier own idea of hope overcoming fear. But as the trumpet and horn gradually unite, the strings too eventually take notice and join them in a united theme representing the spirit of humanity overcoming the fear and anxiety represented earlier. This theme then fades into the distance and we are left with a feeling of hope in the face of adversity.



This composition is based on the concept of a doomsday clock which is currently set at 2 1/2 minutes to midnight, the closest it's ever been since 1953. The music itself represents the anxiety, fear but ultimately hope experienced by people in relation to armageddon.

This piece can be split into 3 different parts, the 'anxiety' section, the 'clock' section and the 'humanity' section.  

We start with the 'anxiety' section, the music here represents a general feeling of unease. String arpeggios reach out in hope of solace to a seemingly uncaring and benign universe. In the third repeat of this section a french horn joins the strings adding some warmth and comfort but before long the horn cries out a warning as we enter the 'clock' section.

The 'clock' section is the natural result of when anxiety turns to pure fear. The chimes ring out the midnight hour reminding us of our impending fate, combinations of rasping low brass, distorted guitar, tam-tam and eerie dulchimer create a sense of chaos which climaxes with the timpani and the entire string section blasting out a staccato rhythm.

Next we are back once again to the 'anxiety' section as the fear somewhat subsides, glockenspiel, harp and celeste add a lightness and sense of comfort as we experience a sense of temporary relief, but these elements soon diminish and we are back to where we began; with a repeat of the anxiety section we heard at the beginning, with the strings once again calling out in hope. The french horn makes another entrance and once again adds a sense of much needed warmth, but eventually it cries out yet another warning as the sinister motive from the 'clock' theme re-emerges in the lower sounding instruments.

Just as the music feels like it is once again heading back to the fear represented by the 'clock' theme, a rising pattern starts to occur in the lower instruments, the momentum becomes stronger and with a sudden crash of the cymbals the french horn breaks through and plays a heartfelt solo as we enter the 'humanity' section. The horn is soon joined by the trumpet and the two both play interlocking melodies. The strings are still playing the arpeggios, but now there is a sense that the hope has been fulfilled. At first the trumpet, horn and strings all sound thier own idea of hope overcoming fear. But as the trumpet and horn gradually unite, the strings too eventually take notice and join them in a united theme representing the spirit of humanity overcoming the fear and anxiety represented earlier. This theme then fades into the distance and we are left with a feeling of hope in the face of adversity.


Synopsis