Invisible Soundtrack (Hero) —2000

Invisible Soundtrack (Hero) was commissioned by the Phi Beta Mu, Nu chapter (Pennsylvania) for the 2001 Pennsylvania Music Educators’ Association conference in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Program Note

The title is a play on the idea of a silent movie, except in this case, we can hear the music, but we can’t see the film. In this way, each listener is invited to create an original story to the various, vivid  images suggested by the music.

The subtitle (Hero) refers to mythology, in particular, Joseph Campbell’s inspiring book The Hero with a Thousand Faces, which has had a major impact on storytelling in film. In his study of world mythology, Campbell discovered that all the myths about heroes were basically the same story, retold again and again in different ways. He found that all stories can be understood in terms of the Hero’s Journey, which follows a basic pattern: the hero leaves her comfortable, ordinary surroundings to venture into a challenging, unfamiliar world. It may be an outward journey to an actual place (a labyrinth, forest or cave, a strange city or country) or an inward journey (one of the mind, the heart, the spirit) that becomes the arena for her conflict with antagonistic, challenging forces.

Hollywood story analyst Christopher Vogler, in his book The Writers Journey, Mythic Structure for Storytellers and Screenwriters, provided an amended outline of Campbell’s Hero’s Journey. I used Vogler’s outline to create the basic structure for Invisible Soundtrack:  Part One (Ordinary World; Call to Adventure; Refusal of the Call; Meeting with the Mentor; Crossing the 1st Threshold), Part Two (Tests, Allies, Enemies; Approach to the Inmost Cave; Supreme Ordeal; Reward) Part Three (The Road Back; Resurrection; Return with Elixir).

Enjoy the journey!

The Consortium of Commissioners

Pennsylvania band directors: Gordon Fung, project chairman; Sam Arnone – Hughesville High School; David Buetzow – Bethel Park High School Symphonic Band; Richard Bundy/Dennis Glocke – Penn State Bands; Jim Falvo – Cannon-McMillan High School Band; Frank Farina – 3 Rivers Music Showcase: R. Tad Greig – Westminster College Instrumental Music Department; Paul D. Gerlach – Carnegie Mellon University Kiltie Band; Art Kahley – PA Ambassadors of Music; John R. Kovalchik – Mount Nittaniy Middle School; Scott Loose – Lampeter-Strasburg High School Band; Charles Neidhardt – Arcola Intermediate School Band; Henry J. Pearlberg – Strath Haven Middle School Band; William Powers – Hempfield High School Band; Jack Schmidt – Lock Haven University; Tom Snyder – West Allegheny High School Band; Ronald Stitt – Fort LeBoeuf Middle School; C. Dean Streator; Richard Victor – State College Area High School