The bands participating in the Division One of the “Ciudad de Valencia” International Music Band Contest 2022 will have to interpret as mandatory pieces the scores “Bookmarks From Japan (The Great Wave Off Kanagawa – Hakone)” by the composer Julie Giroux and «De Cai» by Pascual Piqueras.
BIOGRAFÍA JULIE GIROUX
Julie Ann Giroux was born in Fairhaven, Massachusetts, and raised in both Phoenix, Arizona and Monroe, Louisiana. She received her musical training at the Louisiana State University and Boston University. She read composition, amongst others, with John Williams, Bill Conti and Jerry Goldsmith. Julie is an accomplished player of piano and the French horn, yet her first love is composing. She began to play the piano at the tender age of three and by nine had published her debut piece.
In 1985, she began to compose, set to music and conduct for television and movies. Three hours after arriving in Los Angeles, she had been recruited to work on the music for the mini-series that would go on to win an Emmy «North and South». After this success, she moved on to the television series «Dynasty» and «The Colbys», as well as in several films, such as «Karate Kid II». She was first nominated for an Emmy in 1988 for «North and South Part II – Love and War», and in the three following years was nominated yearly for her arrangements and original compositions for the Academy Awards Show. Presently, Julie boasts more than 100 television and movie credits and has been nominated for Emmy Awards on numerous occasions. When she won her first Emmy Award, she was the first female and the youngest person ever to win the award in this category. Julie also had the privilege of creating arrangements for Céline Dion, Paula Abdul, Dudley Moore, Liza Minnelli, Madonna, Reba McIntyre, Little Richard, Billy Crystal, Michael Jackson among many others.
Julie composes works for all manner of symphonic and chamber music formations, starting to write for the Symphonic Band in 1983 and conducts her music in clinics throughout the world. Julie is a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).
MANDATORY PIECE: «BOOKMARKS FROM JAPAN» (The Great Wave Off Kanagawa – Hakone)
Julie Giroux’s Fourth Symphony, «Bookmarks from Japan», is a piece of major complexity for the Concert Bands due to its six movements that can be independently interpreted. It was premiered in 2013 in Japan by the Musashino Academy of Music Wind Ensemble, conducted by Ray E. Cramer and based around six historical Japanese hand-painted scenes, of which two are brought to life through music.
The Great Wave off Kanagawa
Hokusai’s work «The Great Wave off Kanagawa» (1830 and 1833) is known throughout the world as forming part of the series entitled «Thirty-six views of Mount Fuji». It is his most renowned work in which we can see Mount Fuji in the background, though with the focal point of the monstrous wave named Okinami (open sea wave). In this work the wave’s onset in open sea is represented, somewhat calm still, with refractory solar rays, bathed in sunlight and its growing power taking the form of undulating winds sweeping upwards and downwards to create the first signs of the great wave, until its agonic ending on the rocky beach that marks the end of its journey.
Based on the scene entitled «Hakone» by Hiroshige Ando, from the series of woodcut prints named «The Fifty-Three Stations of the T?kaid?», that represent the 53 post stations on the road running from Tokaido in Edo to Kyoto in 1832, on a route along which horses were transported that were offered as gifts to the Imperial Court. In these post stations, nourishment, accommodation and stables were offered to travellers on the Tokaido Motorway.
BIOGRAFÍA PASCUAL PIQUERAS
Born in Quart de Poblet. He is employed as a state schoolteacher in Music and Scenic Arts Teachers’ Corps specialising in Musical Language. He holds a degree in Orchestra Management awarded by the Higher Conservatory of Saragossa and is a Qualified trumpeter in ‘Sol-fa’ Music Theory. In other areas, he has undertaken studies into modern harmonies and jazz improvisation. He was enrolled on the master’s course on Composition for Audio-Visual Media in the «Katarina Gurska» Higher School of Music in the 2018-19 academic year, and in the Sound and Music in Cinema Workshop in 2019 in which he was an active participant.
He has studied Orchestra Management under the tutelage of renowned professors such as Konrad Von Abel, George Phelivanian, Henrie Adams, Achim Holub, Octav Calleya, Arturo Tamayo, Juan José Olives, Juan Luis Martínez, José Rafael Pascual Villaplana and Massimiliano Caldi.
He has conducted diverse instrumental projects, amongst which the Guadalajara Youth Orchestra, the Alcarria Camerata and Complutense Symphonic Band of Alcala de Henares are worthy of special mention. He has been invited to conduct different musical groups, namely the Municipal Band of A Coruña, or the Artistic Musical Band Society named «La Unió» in his hometown of Quart de Poblet, to which he belongs.
He boasts numerous compositions released through Publishing Houses such as Piles and Branfor that have been interpreted by the Municipal Bands of Madrid, Huelva, Mallorca and A Coruña amongst others. He has penned two musicals, «The musical drama of master Lasol», for orchestras, and «The delirium of master Lasol» for Symphonic Bands.
Shortly, a work commissioned for Luis González Martí (Trumpet) will be released. He has been awarded the First Prize in the 1st National Composition Contest for brass groups held in the town of Alcasser in November 2018. He has created works for documentaries and short films broadcast on Spanish State Television (RTVE).
He is presently the Director of the Guadalajara Conservatory.
MANDATORY PIECE: «DE CAI»
The work entitled «de Cai» came into being from the idea of composing a piece for a brass quintet and flamenco box-drum with a view to creating a repertoire for brass quintet using this style that I adore so much. Therein different forms, known locally as ‘palos’, converge that unveil an intuitive and crisp manner join forces. The work has been very highly received in this chamber music formation thanks to performances with Spanish Brass, one of the leading Spanish chamber music groups with the widest international outreach in our country. Thanks to them, the work is known both nationally and internationally.
The work dates back to 1997 and was written using scant compositional resources, as at that time I was still undergoing my musical tuition. Afterwards, the version for a full band was devised, the last version that retains some of the clearer nods to jazzy language, a language with which I feel quite at home as I have trained as a trumpeter playing modern music or jazz over a lengthy and intense professional path, never overlooking however other disciplines such as conducting or composition.
Tangos, the renowned Bulería melodies, and the odd undefinable interlude come together in this work with its simple yet catchy melody in which different instrumental solos are woven in using a Flamenco-Jazz style. The name of the piece denotes its origin, «de Cai» alludes to music from the city of Cadiz. This title has been borrowed from a slogan on a t-shirt worn by a well-known musician who I had the honour to share a stage with, Chano Domínguez. The t-shirt simply said, «I am de Cai (from Cadiz)» and this piece aims to be just that, «de Cai».