The Aslan Suite

Publication Year:
Usage 32
Abstract Views 32
Repository URL:
Cowan, Scott Marlow
article description
The Aslan Suite is a seven movement original composition for large jazz ensemble, auxiliary percussion and narrator. The thematic material presented in the various movements is programmatic in design, tracing events found in The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis. Narration accompanied by incidental music is presented before pairs of movements providing the listener with a literary to musical (programmatic) cohesiveness throughout the Suite. Literary events are realized musically through the use of a multitude of timbres within the jazz orchestra (e.g., various mute combinations for the brass and extensive doubling for the woodwinds). Contemporary jazz compositional techniques are utilized throughout in conjunction with the composer's own compositional and orchestrational choices. Influences will include composition and orchestration techniques found in the works of Duke Ellington, Thad Jones, Gil Evans and Bob Brookmeyer. Performance time is 60 minutes. The accompanying essay describes the compositional process of the Aslan Suite at three syllogistic levels: inspiration, conception and production. The essay will also include a melodic, harmonic and orchestration analysis of selected excerpts of particular analytical interest. The analysis will include musical excerpts or concepts from the above jazz composers, which directly influenced the suite in composition and orchestration content.