The Bell

Written: 2017
Duration: ca. 20'
Instrumentation: narrator and chamber ensemble: flute, clarinet in B-flat, percussion (see below for instruments needed), piano, 2 violins, viola, cello, bass
Percussion Instruments Needed: vibraphone, B-flat tubular bell (B-flat4), suspended cymbal, Mark Tree, 5 temple blocks, medium and high wood blocks, tambourine, medium and small  triangle
Commissioned by The Rivers School Conservatory. Text adapted by Robert Paterson from The Bell by Hans Christian Andersen
World Premiere: The Rivers School Conservatory, Weston, MA, April 8, 2018
Publisher: Bill Holab Music

View Score | Sheet Music available September 1st, 2018

Program Note

My father is a bronze sculptor, and in addition to being a composer, I am also a percussionist, so perhaps it is inevitable that many of my works—including this one—incorporate bells or bell-like sounds. The text for the The Bell is adapted from a short story of the same name by Hans Christian Andersen. His story masterfully weaves together humor, suspense, and even a little 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, his story is retold in a way that emphasizes certain themes, such as the joy of having a youthful curiosity, the ultimate equality of human-beings whether rich or poor, and being one with Mother Nature. The Bell was commissioned by The Rivers School Conservatory.