The Bell

Written: In-Progress
Duration: ca. 12'
Instrumentation: narrator and chamber ensemble (flute, clarinet in B-flat, percussion, piano, 2 violins, viola, cello, bass)
Commissioned by The Rivers School Conservatory. Text adapted by Robert Paterson from The Bell by Hans Christian Andersen
Upcoming World Premiere: The Rivers School Conservatory, Weston, MA, April 8, 2018
Publisher: Bill Holab Music

Program Note (In Progress)

Growing up with a father who created bronze sculptures, and also being a percussionist, perhaps it is inevitable that a number of my works incorporate bells or bell-like sounds, including this work. The text for the The Bell is adapted from a story of the same name by Hans Christian Andersen that masterfully weaves together humor, suspense, and horror through a tale of a mysterious bell. Two characters are central to the story, a rich boy and a poor boy, who could be viewed as two sides of Andersen himself, since he grew up in relative poverty and ultimately believed that he descended from royalty. In my adaptation, the story is updated and retold in a way that places less emphasis on religious motifs and biblical themes that are prevalent in many of Andersen’s works, including this one, and more emphasis on themes such as having a childlike curiosity, the ultimate equality of human-beings, whether rich or poor, and being one with the Mother Nature.

The Bell was commissioned by The Rivers School Conservatory.