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Wishes & Wantings - A Modern Culture That's Taking Wind Band By Storm

Wishes & Wantings - A Modern Culture That's Taking Wind Band By Storm

Jun 03, 2024

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Kelijah Dunton

In my high school days, I spent a lot of my time consuming and learning about Japanese culture & it's fascinating history. I've always had the desire to listen to and emulate modern Japanese music from J-Pop to movie scoring giants such as Joe Hisaishi and the like. I have a great appreciation for the culture because it has probably influenced me the most in my musical writing and has opened my eyes to different forms a musical thought can take.

Now here we are with my new piece, "Wishes & Wantings" ; A modern Japanese inspired piece that speaks to my own personal experience being surrounded by Japanese culture growing up and what it also means to so many other people that I know and relate to from all walks of life. I've been THE BIGGEST anime fan for the longest time now and I've always enamored with the music in it. It's always so colorful, so emotional, and so spiritual in ways that my heart can't describe. Almost every time that I have the privilege of spending time with a band; there's always someone who asks me, .. " hey do you like anime? " . And then it turns to,.. "okay, so what's your FAVORITE " I always laugh at that question first because it's almost like they can smell the nerd on me lol. They somehow can tell that I love that stuff. I find it so cool that an entire generation of young people in the United States, became enthralled with Japanese anime and pop culture as a whole.

Whenever I speak to students attending university, I always end up coming across a composition student interested in video game composition. Whenever I ask them why, .. we go down a rabbit hole of older video games like "legend of Zelda" that tend to have Japanese composers primarily writing the music. When composition students show me their musical ideas, I recognize the eastern influence right away. That is not by accident. 

Stay with me here as I prophesize a little bit... I think in the near future, we will hear A LOT more wind band music that encompasses that sound texture. It's this sound that comes so natural to me now as a composer. There's just an unmistaken love, passion, and nostalgia in that particular sound. My ear cant get enough of it. Many of you also seem to resonate with this sound, even if you didn't know where it came from. It truly is a special thing ,.. it really is. 

Some great examples of this "sound" for you to check out is Bamboo Shoots & City Streets by Benjamin R Barker, and there's also "Dragonfly"  by Katahj Copley , and of course my own "Stillwater" and now "Wishes and Wantings"

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