Gorilla

duration: 10:30
instrumentation: 12 players (fl, bcl, s/tsax, tpt, tbn, gtr, pno, 1 perc, 2 vn, vc, db)
premiere: May 4, 2018, Chatham University
premiere performer: Alia Musica Pittsburgh
publisher: A-Town Publications (ASCAP) © 2018
Gorilla was commissioned by Alia Musica Pittsburgh and completed while in residence at Copland House, Cortlandt Manor, New York, as a recipient of the Aaron Copland Award.

Program Note:
Nyiramachabelli — “the woman who lives alone on the mountain.” Dian Fossey was curious, furious, fearless, and focused. Her life’s work as a primatologist, activist, and author is the inspiration for Gorilla for large ensemble. “Sound preceded sight” — Fossey describes her first encounter with the Mountain Gorilla as a “high-pitched series of screams” followed by a “rhythmic rondo of sharp pok-pok chestbeats.”  —Erin Rogers (2018)

Reviews:
“Alia Musica wraps 10th season with ‘Gorilla,’ a piece so complex it’s primitive. Gorilla, which closed the concert, was roughly nine minutes of 12 instrumentalists performing extended techniques (making sounds other than those traditionally associated with their instruments), and speaking quotes from Ms. Fossey’s writings. There was lots of rushing air, screaming glissandi — pitch sliding — and what sounded like growling in the wind instruments, long sustained pitches and episodic silences, humming and overlapping murmuring.”
—Jeremy Reynolds, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette [Full article]

Purchase Sheet Music: Gorilla