Looking Up, Moving On

Looking Up, Moving On was commissioned by the Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra and was part of a tour programme they gave in May 2012, a tour which included many areas that had been devastated by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

The theme of the piece is the powerful ability of mankind to overcome such disasters and look forward to a positive future; it opens in an appropriately optimistic mood, featuring bright orchestral colours and extensive syncopation. A chorale-like fanfare is soon introduced on horns and euphonium, answered by chirpy woodwinds. The mood subsides until an alto saxophone introduces a brief quotation from the composerís The Sun Will Rise Again, which was written to raise funds for victims of the 2011 disaster. The mood soon changes and the horns introduce a noble theme under woodwind flourishes. This leads to the main Vivo section of the piece which is characterised again by strong syncopations as part of a florid theme in the low woodwinds. This melody undergoes varied development by all sections of the band until the horn fanfare returns triumphally on the brass. This is extended and leads to a faster coda which brings together previous material in counterpoint to close the work in optimistic mood.