Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Alternative Brass just keeps coming. . . Blast!

I guess one could argue if Blast is or is not a brass chamber group.  It is an brass ensemble with percussion and  color guard. But the brass line is usually around 36+ members. Well, I'm going to act like it is a brass chamber group and talk about the types of  and arrangements they play.
But first, a description of Blast. Blast is an combination of many elements. 
1) Marching Band/Drum corps element.
-all brass horn line (trumpets, mellophones, french horns, trombones, marching baritones, euphonium, and tubas)
-battery (snares, tenors and basses)
-colorguard (flag, rifle, sabre and other equipment)
-pit (usually keyboards, tympani, various other non-pitched percussion) 
2) Broadway Show element
-lights and special effects
-two acts with an intermission
3)  The Show

Act One

Act Two

  • Color Wheel Too - (J. Vanderkolff)
  • Gee, Officer Krupke! (from West Side Story) - (L. Bernstein/S. Sondheim)
  • Lemontech - (J. Vanderkolff)
  • Tangerinamadidge - (B. Epperson/J. Vanderkolff)
  • Land of Make Believe - (C. Mangione)
  • Spiritual of the Earth
  • Marimba Spiritual/Earth Beat - (M. Miki)/(M. Spiro)
  • Malaguena- (E. Lecuona) 

Take a look at the music they play, it's all over the place: Classical, Jazz, Musicals, Ballet, etc.
All of these pieces are arrangements, I don't think there is a full version of any of these pieces, 
however I think most of these arrangements could be played by a brass band in a concert setting. 
Listen to Simple Gifts, I could easly hear a Brass Choir do it (actually I have, and I did the arrangement).
What makes this alternative is that they play at such a high level while marching, dancing and moving
around. I think one could almost think of this as a larger Boston Brass or Mnozil, Blast does the
same type of entertainment, just on a much larger scale.

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