AN AMERICAN SYMPHONY #1 2001
~ A Tone-East Music Virtual Expression~
I. MARCH TO GLORY---Sonata Allegro 15:07
II. A WALK IN THE SKY---Adagio non Molto 16:05
III. BRASS WALTZ---Scherzo (Dance) 9:59
IV. SPACE PRAYER---Allegro (Lively) 14:01
This Symphony is humbly dedicated to my father, Willie James Underwood (7/4/31-2/27/01). He spoke four languages and worked Special Forces, as a medic, in the Korean War. He pushed my sister, Michelle, Dr. James Mike, Delford, and I to use all of our skills, with humility, obedience, honor, and charity. He was so colorful, colorless!!
I. March to Glory:
This movement starts with a musical theme, or motif, much greater than it’s exposure and device: a small particle that spread and develops.
I think of country. From and African-Cultured-American perspective, we are descendants of slavery… Most of this country sees itself developing from immigrants of different backgrounds, ways of life, and global proximity.
Relatives, inhabited from other parts of the world, to settle and interweave with many differences. Like a child being exposed to new beginnings, the primary motive and reasoning is to mix forces. A call for strength and a will to win can only be achieved through sacrifice and not achieved without each other.
March to Glory!
II. A WALK IN THE SKY:
We, as an extended family, had a cousin that lived with use growing up. The theme is a melody from my brother Delford.
There is no difference in what we feel… This melody is a cantabile or “sing-able” melody, in the style of the Negro Spiritual.
My mom comes to mind... I was very fortunate to spend her last days settling notions of miss-understanding.
As children, we are always fighting for an opinion with less experience. Church is where it started to make sense.
I learned to sing during those walks with her… It was a major walk during her transition to be with the Lord.
And Skywalker Ranch helped me envision a move to the west so I could see from a different perspective… Then, I heard her voice.
III. Brass Waltz for Orchestra:
Remembering compositions like Igor Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring”,
A “bear” of a piece. Kind’a like moving from back east… The two-separate tuba parts gave me fits!
It had so many meters, or beat “changes”, shifts, and high range playing. I would study and practice
those parts for hours and hours. Now here I am…
See, for most of my life, I played in all types of group, or ensemble, settings. You go do the "gig". What ever...
Read it... play it!
This is an expression, in music, of the “ups” and “downs” of proving your way in the world. Firstly, as a singer, a drummer,
a brass performer, and now as a composer and producer… Thanks JP and Joe D!
IV. SPACE PRAYER:
Moving forward is a very important motto. This piece is a declaration to getting out there and learning, in true faith,
“People that help you the most, you will not ever know beforehand.”
I remember going to the theatre when I was about 16 years old.
I could not believe the film score for “Superman” and then, “Star Wars”. I was so inspired by Mr. John Williams. I still am.
So, I set out to find away of expressing these symphonic ideas I had with
Here’s to my teachers, The Late Dr. David Uber and Dr. Norman “Buddy” Baker.
They fueled my love of classical acoustic instrumental music and composition.
I cannot forget Ms. Joan Panetti, at Yale! She would always say,
“Do all the things you do, Tony!”
A listening voice,
• “An American Symphony #1” composed, programmed, mixed, and performed by Antonio D. Underwood for Tone East Music Ltd.
Mastered by Jason Abell @ Private Island Trax, Los Angeles