Composer Michael Markowski (b. 1986) wrote Shadow Rituals in 2006. It’s best to describe its genesis in his words:
I can remember sitting in my junior high school band reading through my first Frank Ticheli piece; I remember it because I found his style so unlike the other arrangements and “standards” that we performed. Now, several years later, I realize the remarkable inspiration Ticheli’s music has made on my own writing and growth as a musician.
Because of this, Shadow Rituals was written particularly for the Manhattan Beach Music Frank Ticheli Composition Contest and I dedicate it humbly to Frank Ticheli.
Shadow Rituals is rhythmic, energetic, and challenges the performer to constantly stay engaged in the music. The piece is a dark and mystical dance–a reflection of something primitive or ancient.
Shadow Rituals won that very first Frank Ticheli Composition Contest in Category 2 – Young Band. Markowski has since written several more compositions for band and various other media, all of which are on display at his website. Look at his bio also: you’ll notice that he only just finished his undergraduate work (none of which was in music!) in 2010. We can expect to hear much more from him.
If you don’t know about the phenomenon that is Frank Ticheli, check out my post on his Amazing Grace.
Shadow Rituals is one of the only pieces I know that has its own website. That’s always a good starting point. Follow the links there: You can look at the full score, listen to a recording, and read an analytical article about the piece.
Now, Shadow Rituals on video:
Keep that tempo up! The plan is to go at 184 bpm. This a senior choice for CUWE publicity man and hornist Jason Mogen – don’t disappoint him!