Gwyneth Walker

Habitat

for Orchestra (2019)

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View/download a perusal PDF file of the full score of this orchestral work. Parts are available upon request.


Dedicated to Habitat for Humanity and the many volunteers who give so generously of their time to providing homes for their neighbors in need

Habitat is a three-movement orchestral suite on the topic of home -- specifically of building a home. This music was inspired by, and is dedicated to, Habitat for Humanity.

"Foundation" opens the suite. This house was built with love. Chords are constructed, starting with low brass, rising to woodwinds, with strings adding the energy of tremoli. The thematic material is characterized by open intervals suggesting foundation blocks on which to build a home.

"Construction" -- Take this Hammer -- features hand tools (hammer, screw drivers, saw, paint brushes) as the percussion instruments. The tools are joyfully displayed in a rhythmic introduction. In the middle section, paint brushes and sand blocks provide smoother activities. A frantic race to finish the construction ends the work.The last movement is an arrangement of the spiritual "I'm Buildin' Me a Home." This is a swing rhythm, blues-style song. This earthly house gonna soon decay. My soul's gotta have some place to stay. Descending Bass and Tuba lines signify a "rooted home!"

This music seeks to express strength of commitment, joy of labor, delight (in the hand tools!) and celebration of the achievement of home.


It is envisioned that readings about home be incorporated into a performance, preceding each of the three movements. Suggested texts are provided by the composer, but each orchestra is encouraged to include or substitute readings of their own choice.