John B Hedges

composer & musician

Variations on Waves (2001) for brass & percussion ensemble

4(or 6)horns, 3 trumpets, 2 trombones, bass trombone, tuba, timp., 3 perc., pno

Duration: 9'30''

Program Notes:

Variations on Waves was commissioned by Blair Bollinger for the Curtis Brass & Percussion Ensemble who premiered the work in the winter of 2002.  The waves being varied have two aspects.  Musically, the theme being varied is from a solo violin sketch I had written a couple years earlier entitled Waves.  But the the piece, like the original sketch, is also a set of variations on the idea of ocean waves and their sometimes meditative, sometimes destructive power.  Events from my own life continued to creep into this work.  My mother had undergone a heart transplant and difficult recovery during this process and that certainly played its part.  In the interest of full disclosure, there's the other side of the influence spectrum.  I had been watching a lot of PowerPuff Girls (probably to balance the more serious stuff) at this time.  And the pesky PowerPuff Girls theme song kept insinuating itself in very unsubtle ways into this piece, giving it an element of fun and heroics at times.  Instead of fighting it, I just let it happen.  After all, no one can beat the PowerPuffs!


The score is currently being edited to be ready for publication.  For performance materials or more information on this piece, contact