The Unknown Journey

The Unknown Journey was commissioned by Kwansei Gakuin University Symphony Band (Hisaatsu Kondo - conductor) to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the band, as well as the 125th anniversary of Kwansei Gakuin, in 2014. It was premiered on 8th November 2014 during the institutionís 125th anniversary celebrations.

Kwansei Gakuin is a Japanese private school which dates back to 1889, when it was founded in Kobe by the American missionary, Reverend Walter Russell Lambuth. With a mission still based on Christian principles, Kwansei Gakuin is now a comprehensive and integrated educational institution with a university, college, junior college, senior high school, junior high school, elementary school and kindergarten spread over 6 campuses.

Established in 1954 Kwansei Gakuin University Symphony Band has grown to become one of the top college bands in Japan and has undertaken international tours to Canada, the USA, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan.

In writing The Unknown Journey composer Philip Sparke wanted to create a piece which, after a brief introduction, started slowly and gradually and inevitably increased in tempo as new material was introduced. He chose the title as the piece seemed to create its own momentum as it developed; as it reaches its seemingly inevitable conclusion it gradually transmogrifies into the closing bars of Ravelís La Valse, a piece which unsurpassably characterises the idea of unstoppable momentum.