Aue! is essentially a miniature tone poem drawing upon my experiences in Samoa.
This music exists in two distinct forms: for wind ensemble and for orchestra. Here is the program note:
For three years we lived inland at Vaia’ata in Savai’i, Samoa. Often in the evenings you could hear sounds from the villages carried on the sea breeze – songs, dances, bells, drums – all filtered and transformed by the mists of the rain forest.
This music starts at Vaia’ata as we take the forest track down to the village. Gradually the music becomes louder and more clearly defined until we step from the forest into the bright daylight and the midst of a village ‘fiafia’, or celebration.
The central theme is the old Samoan tune ‘Faleula E’, or ‘People of Faleula’. The second motif, which appears first on the saxophones/solo cellos, is inspired by the powerful sound of the conch shell which announces an important event, and the chant-like cries of competing orators. Hymns are sung at all social events and fragments of one hymn tune appear throughout the piece, while the predominant percussive rhythm, on log and tin drums, accompanies the ‘sasa’, a popular dance.
The word ‘aue’ (pronounced almost as ‘OW-way’) is a Samoan exclamation expressing strong emotion. ‘Wow!’ would be a good translation.
Aue! for wind ensemble was commissioned by a consortium of symphonic bands and wind ensembles instigated and recruited by Timothy Reynish. It was first performed by the Wind Ensemble of Chetham School in Manchester in the Royal Northern College of Music under John Dickinson and has since had nearly 40 performance around the world. It is published by Maecenas in the UK.
Aue! for orchestra was commissioned in 2019 by Aaron Collins and the Space Coast Symphony Orchestra and received it first two performances in March of that year, in Melbourne and Vero Beach, Florida. It is self published (Vaia’ata Print).
Orlando, Florida, 2019
“I appreciate the Ivesian concept of layering …. marvelous irony …. ” Charles Peltz
1 Picc. 2 Fl. 2 Ob. 1 EbCl. 2 BbCl. 1 BassCl. 2 Alt.Sax. 1 Ten.Sax. 1 Bar.Sax. 2 Bsn. // 4 FHn. 3BbTpt. 2 Tbn. 1 B.Tbn. 1 Euph. 1 Tba. // 1 Timp. 3 Perc.
1 Picc. 2 Fl. 2 Ob. 2 BbCl. 1 BassCl. 2 Bsn. // 4 FHn. 3BbTpt. 2 Tbn. 1 B.Tbn. 1 Tba. // 1 Timp. 3 Perc. Hp. (optional) Strings
Philharmonia à Vent, John Boyd, by kind permission of Klavier Records
Premiere: Space Coast Symphony Orchestra directed by Aaron Collins
Maecenas Music/Vaia’ata Print