July 13th, 2021 2:18pm
Hello all, we released one of these design breakdowns for season 93, and we figured it would be good to do one of these again because this season’s design is unlike our past seasons for multiple reasons.
Let’s start with the title and topic of the show. Our show is entitled Endurance: Return from Antarctica. It is meant to tell the story of men aboard the ship Endurance that became stranded in Antarctica for months and their tale of escaping from the frozen continent. This is a unique show for us due to it telling a direct story, which is something that we haven’t done since arguably our first season competing. Now that we have explained the title and the story behind it, we would like to explain our musical selections and how we tell the story with them. The first piece that we will be playing in our show will be Sibelius’ Symphony No. 2. This piece is meant to capture some background information because the ship was from Norway, and Sibelius was a Finish composer, living at similar latitude and in a Nordic-influenced environment. The piece captures a musical idea of not only the signature Nordic mystery, but also the cold mystery of the continent at that time. The second piece we use is Haydn’s String Quartet in D Minor, which is meant to add some dissonance and tension to portray the ship and it’s crew becoming trapped in ice. The third piece is something quite unique for our ensemble, as we usually stick to classical composers and contemporary composers of instrumental music. However, That Distant Shore by Rebecca Sugar is our first dip into non instrumental music adapted to our ensemble. It is about a character missing the place that came to be their home, but fearing what prevents their return. This is perfect to represent the crew of the ship missing their home, but knowing that they have to wait for the perfect time to attempt to free the ship. The final piece is Aurora Awakes by John Mackey, which is about the sun rising and continuing to get brighter, but it is also often misinterpreted as being about Aurora Borealis. Both of these interpretations of the piece could be applied to the story of Endurance with some creative liberty. One could represent their hope growing more and more as they begin to make their way home, and the other could represent colors in the sky as their go farther north, away from the continent.
This has been our design explanation release for Season 97, and we grow excited to display our growth as an ensemble over the past season. Good luck to all ensembles this season!