Prelude to Paradise (12 Players)

By Jacob Remington

Bells, Xylophone/Crotales, Chimes, Vibraphone 1, Vibraphone 2, Marimba 1 (5-octave), Marimba 2 (5-octave), Marimba 3 (5-octave), Marimba 4 (5-octave), Timpani, Percussion 1 (Kick Bass Drum, Ribbon Crasher, China Cymbal, Gong)
Percussion 2 (Snare Drum, 3 Concert Toms, Hi-Hat)
Percussion 3 (Gong, Concert Bass Drum, Triangle, Suspended Cymbal, Sizzle Cymbal, China Cymbal, Chains)

Prelude to Paradise was written to reflect my personal view of the chaotic events surrounding the end of days as they are depicted in the Book of Revelation.  I’ve always found the vivid imagery in this story to be quite shocking and powerful, and I’ve strived to replicate those feelings through the music.  Although the piece is not intended to chronicle the story, some important events and details of the book can be heard musically.  The number seven is one of the most significant numbers found in Revelation, and for that reason the piece is primarily metered in seven.  There are numerous accounts in the book where “the stars of heaven fall unto the earth,” and this is illustrated by densely harmonized, rapidly descending passages in the vibraphone and xylophone.  Towards the middle of the piece, the symbolic opening of the seventh seal can be heard, as well as subsequent “silence in heaven about the space of half an hour,” represented by 30 beats of (near) silence.  The second half of the piece depicts Jesus marching onto Zion with the 144,000 who were redeemed from the Earth, where he leads them into battle with the beast and onto their final judgements.”

(Notes by the composer)



Annotated by Robert McCarthy