John B Hedges

composer & musician

Three Pieces for Orchestra (2002) for large orchestra

3(+picc) & bass cl.)3(+contra) 4331 timp., 3 perc., cel., hp., strings

Duration: 9'

Each of these Three Pieces for Orchestra is a response to adolescence, particularly the intensely emotional, expressive and sometimes cruel experience that adolescence can be, especially for girls. In my early twenties I spent some time teaching at a Middle School in Princeton, NJ. The more time I spent with the students the more I became aware and fascinated by the varied depths of their daily experience. On the surface and from a distance a group of kids could seem to be just goofing around innocently. Closer inspection might often find some cruel intention or alienation occurring. And sometime you were aware of potentially disastrous consequences lying around the corner from what might appear to be benign antics. Each of these pieces expresses some small aspect of that precarious developmental time. The first piece, Games, very much represents those simple playground games which may have more to them then meets the eye. The second is a musical film of sorts of something I witnessed on a street in Philadelphia: A large group of schoolgirls jabbering and laughing as they walked towards me on a very hot and hazy day. As I passed them, I saw that one single girl walked in the middle completely ignored by the rest of the group sobbing intensely. The image stayed with me for so long I decided to translate my experience into Crying Girl. The final piece, Awakening, is an abstraction of the arrival of sexual awareness and all the excitement, fear and potential joy and danger that accompanies it.

[Below are recordings of the work from a performance in 2002.  Slight revisions have been made since then.]

Three Pieces for Orchestra - Printed Score
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