The Dead of Night (2019)
The Dead of Night is a composition for Wind Ensemble based off The Crucible by Arthur Miller. Each movement reflects a different part of the night when the girls of Salem were in the woods practicing occult witchcraft.
Movement I, The Dance of the Barbados, tells of the girls dancing sinful dances to the chanting of Tituba, a slave from Barbados. Away from the scrutiny of society, they dance naked. There are many abrupt changes in pacing as new developments are discovered as the girls become more and more uninhibited throughout the night.
Movement II, Conjuring of the Dead Children, depicts the ritual that the girls perform, communicating with the dead sisters of Ruth Putnam. This movement is enfused with a sense of taboo mysticism that follows the solo alto sax as it searches for closure in an unfamiliar medium. When contact is made, the others at the gathering murmur amongst themselves, morbidly excited at what they had witnessed. Eventually, all chatter dies away until the alto saxophone is left exposed in front of the entire ensemble.
Movement III, Charm of Blood, culminates the night as Abigail, the ringleader of the girls, drinks the blood of a chicken to place a charm on John Proctor’s wife. At its highest summit, the ritual is brought to an abrupt halt as the girls are interrupted by Samuel Parris, and hastily flee their indulgences.