The Henry Brant Collection, Volume 5

Autumn Hurricanes

Innova 412


Autumn Hurricanes,A Spatial Cantata for Widely Separated Vocal and Instrumental Groups (1986), was commissioned by Stetson University in Deland, Florida, for itsstudent and faculty musicians, both instrumental and vocal, soloists andensembles. It was first performed on April 26, 1986 in StetsonŐs Elizabeth HallAuditorium. Each ensemble and soloist maintained specific tempi, contrastedthroughout with the tempi of the other groups and soli. The eightspatially-separated groups were led by five conductors, with the composer inthe role of primary coordinating conductor.


  The work is divided into seven separatedsections, each offering impressions of a different area of Caribbean hurricanehistory.


Chief Conductor: Henry Brant

Collaborating Conductors: Tim Maloney, Robert Rich, Thomas Sleeper,and Amy Snyder



Janice Jenkins, soprano;

Craig Maddox, baritone;

Nancy Maloney, flute

Molly Rich, soprano

Jean Rickman, flute


solo soprano (2), solobaritone; solo flute (2), solo chimes; SA Chorus, TB Chorus; Orch: picc (3),fl (3), ob (3), cl (3), bs cl (3), bn (3); hn (5); timp (2), perc (4) (incl 3steel-drums), pnos (2; 4 players), org (2 players) Jazz Grp: alto sax (2), ten sax (2), bar sax, trp (3),trb (2), tba (2); drumset Brass Grp:trp (3), trb (2), tba (2); drumset Str Section [stage: 4 grps—hall: 4 grps, 6 isolatedsoli] (5 conductors)


1.  October 10, 1780.The Great Hurricane                 7:36

2.  September 8, 1900.Galveston Bay                       12:22

3.  September 16, 1828.Lake Okeechobee, Florida    5:13

4.  Labor Day, 1935.Florida Keys                                10:28

5.  September 8 to 16,1944. The Great Autumn Hurricane    8:11

6.  1955. ElevenHurricanes. Atlantic Coast                 7:21

7.        September7, 1967. Mexico          7:31



October 10, 1780,

The Great Hurricane

Beginning at Barbados,

Where every tree and dwelling was leveled

It sank an English fleet, anchored off Santa Lucia

And wrecked the island

Crushing 6000 persons to death

Under the ruins.


The Whirlwind blasted its way to Martinique,

Sinking more than 40 ships carrying 4000 soldiers,

Saint Pierre, and other towns struck by the wind,

Killing 9000.



Dominique, Saint Eustatius,

Saint Vincent, and Puerto Rico laid waste,

And towards the Bermudas,

The havoc on land and sea continued.



September 8, 1900, Galveston Bay

A furious hurricane forced tides of 15 feet

Deep into the city of Galveston Texas.


Hurricanes bring tragedy and ruin

And at the same time

They maintain the thermal balance of the world.


Hurricanes are both curses and blessings.


At 7:30 pm, in just a few seconds

A sudden 4 foot rise of water

Surged violently through the city

Followed by a roaring 20 foot wave.


While destroying humankind

And the work of human hands,

Hurricanes replenish crops and ground water with torrents of rain.


Hurricanes are both curses and blessings.


During the next 24 hours

3000 houses were destroyed (wiped out)

And 6000 people (were) drowned.


Whole homes disappeared;

Entire families perished together.



September 16, 1928

Lake Okeechobee, Florida,

One raging seething hurricane

Completely inundated the flat farmlands

In a few hours,

Drowning 1,836 people

And injuring 1,949.

That storm had started in the Caribbean

Wreaking havoc in the West Indies

And killing over 2000.



Labor Day, 1935

On September 2 a hurricane of unprecedented savagery

Boiled into the Florida Keys with waves 20 feet high.

This was the most awesomely powerful hurricane on record.


Hurricanes are a necessary part of the meteorological system of ourplanet.

Hurricanes remove life and bestow it at the same time.


Although only 40 miles wide

Its terrifying winds blew at 200 miles per hour.


Hurricanes transfer essential energy between the equator and thetemperate regions.

Hurricanes are a necessary part of the meteorological system of ourplanet.

Hurricanes remove life and bestow it at the same time.


But at Matecumba Key

Barometric pressure was at an astounding low 26 degrees



September 8 to 16, 1944

The Great Atlantic Hurricane

Was one of the fiercest,

Most violent in history

That hurricane

Raced up the Atlantic coast

To Chesapeake Bay

Continuing to New England.


That hurricane

Was spreading death

And destruction everywhere in its path

Before it veered off to sea.


During the year 1950 no less than 11 different hurricanes appearedalong the Atlantic seaboard and westward.


Hurricanes are the planetŐs air-conditioners;

Their winds cleanse poisons from the air.

Hurricanes are vital cogs in our planetŐs great engine.

Hurricanes are at once enemies and benefactors.


Areas as widely separated as the North Carolina Coast, ChesapeakeBay, Lake Huron, the Windward and Grenadine Islands, the Middle Atlantic statesand parts of New England were struck by the untamable fury of the storms.

Sizzling 200 miles an hour winds and treacherous flash floods took afrightful toll of lives and property.



Mexico.  September 7,1967

With gigantic primordial force

A gargantuan hurricane arose precipitately out of the sea.

Texas and Mexico were assaulted with the most deadly flash flood ofthe 20th century.


Thirty inches of blinding rain fell,

Wiping out homes, businesses and farms with diabolic impartiality.


At speedway tempos the searing winds raced thru an area of over40,000 miles.

Also in this series:


The Henry Brant Collection—

Volume 1:

Northern Lights Over the Twin Cities


Volume 2:

Nomads, Ghost Nets, Solar Moth


Volume 3:

Trinity of Spheres; Litany of Tides; Wind, Water, Clouds &Fire


Volume 4:

Meteor Farm


    HenryBrant is AmericaŐs foremostcomposer of acoustic spatial music. The planned positioning of performersthroughout the hall, as well as on stage, is an essential factor in hiscomposing scheme and a point of departure for a radically expanded range andintensity of musical expression. BrantŐs mastery of spatial composing techniqueenables him to write textures of unprecedented polyphonic and/or polystylisticcomplexity while providing maximum resonance in the hall and increased clarityof musical detail for the listener. His catalogue now comprises over 100spatial works.

    Recentpremieres include Tremors,for 4 singers and 16 instrumentalists, commissioned by the Getty ResearchInstitute, premiered on June 4, 2004, at the Getty Center in Los Angeles. Tremors was repeated in a Green Umbrella concert at LAŐsnew Disney Hall on November 1, 2004. Ghosts & Gargoyles, a concerto for flute solo with flute orchestra,for New Music Concerts, Toronto had its premiere on May 26, 2002. Ice Field, for large orchestral groups and organ, wascommissioned by Other Minds for a December 2001 premiere by the San FranciscoSymphony.

    Inthe mid 1950Ős Brant felt that Ňsingle-style musicÉcould no longer evoke thenew stresses, layered insanities, and multi-directional assaults ofcontemporary life on the spirit.Ó In keeping with BrantŐs belief that music canbe as complex and contradictory as everyday life, his larger works often employmultiple, contrasting performing forces, as in Meteor Farm (1982, appearing on innova 411) for symphonyorchestra, large jazz band, two choruses, West African drum ensemble andchorus, South Indian soloists, large Gamelan ensemble, percussion orchestra andtwo Western solo sopranos. BrantŐs spatial experiments have convinced him thatspace exerts specific influences on harmony, polyphony, texture and timbre. Heregards space as musicŐs Ňfourth dimension,Ó (after pitch, time and timbre).Brant continues to experiment with new combinations of acoustic timbres, evencreating entire works for instrumental family groups of a single timbre: Orbits for 80 trombones, Ghosts & Gargoyles for 9 flutes, and others for multiple trumpetsand guitars. This predilection for ensembles of a single tone quality dates fromAngels and Devils (1932).Brant does not use electronic materials or permit amplification in his music.

    Amember of the American Academy of Arts & Letters, Brant was awarded the2002 Pulitzer Prize in Music for Ice Field (2001). He has received two Guggenheim Fellowships and was thefirst America composer to win the Prix Italia. Among other honors are FordFoundation, Fromm Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts and Koussevitzkyawards and the American Music CenterŐs Letter of Distinction. The Paul SacherFoundation in Basel has acquired BrantŐs complete archive of originalmanuscripts including over 300 works (1998). In conjunction with BrantŐs 85thbirthday concert, Wesleyan University conferred upon him the honorary degree ofDoctor of Fine Arts (1998).

            Bornin Montreal of American parents in 1913, Henry Brant began composing at the ageof eight. After moving to New York in 1929, he composed and conducted forradio, film, ballet, and jazz groups. Starting in the late 40s, he taught atColumbia University, Juilliard, and, for 24 years, Bennington College. Since1981, he has made his home in Santa Barbara, California.



Mastering:Preston Wright

Specialthanks to Henry Brant, Kathy Wilkowski, and Stetson University.

Artwork:Linus Coraggio

AutumnHurricanes is published by CarlFischer Music


Innovais supported by an endowment from the McKnight Foundation.

Seriesproducer, director, design: Philip Blackburn

Operations: ChrisCampbell