The Information Age

Commission opportunity for wind ensemble

  • Grade level – 4.5-5
  • Duration – 4:50 (approximately – it may still grow a bit)
  • Buy-in – $400
  • Instrumentation – wind ensemble – includes piano, soprano sax, timp+5 perc. Optional instruments include Contrabass clarinet, Contrabassoon and Harp
  • Exclusivity period – September 2023-August 2024


I’ve been calling THE INFORMATION AGE a “symphonic invention”. Somehow “invention” seems like just the right word, the right fit. The piece is absolutely filled to overflowing with melodies, most of them in the form of very short snippets – hooks, riffs, fragments, theme-lets, signals, etc. The constant fizzing interaction between these creates the feeling of a busy, hyper-active futuristic society, a tangle of buzzing data and ideas – the INFORMATION AGE. The fast-moving character is accentuated by the use of “shock dynamics”, as the orchestration jumps abruptly from small to large, the dynamic from mezzo to a blazing fortissimo and back again in the blink of an eye.

All of this grows and grows, layering and escalating, until it is interrupted by a set of in-your-face brass fanfares that signal our transition and gradual descent to the center section, which is a radically different musical place – simpler, more introspective and more reflective. The themes here are lyrical in nature, almost naïve in their innocence, in direct contrast to the manic style of the opening.

After the naïve section, momentum re-asserts itself and leads us back up to the final re-cap, where the cleverness and energy of the invention is now fortified by the strength of the simpler themes, which have held over from the center section.  The themes sound together in a final ecstatic collage as we make our way to the end.

The challenge for the ensemble in this piece is not individual virtuosity, but rather the co-ordination of diverse and intricate interlocking parts into a cohesive whole, while maintaining a sense of flow, continuity and story. This one requires a lot of teamwork.

THE INFORMATION AGE score excerpt (rough – in progress)

Progress report

            Mostly done – I will be ready for preliminary read-throughs in early spring of 2023.



  • Now-August 2023 – Fee due. (OK to wait until July for the new fiscal year if you need to).
  • Spring 2023 – preliminary read-throughs, rehearsal recordings and feedback sessions by those that are willing
  • August 2023 – delivery of final parts and scores
  • September 2023 – August 2024 – exclusivity period, performances

Questions?? Let’s talk – send me an email at [email protected]


I was first introduced to the world of Wind Ensembles and Concert Bands by H. Robert Reynolds, who found my orchestral work CHORALE AND FIDDLE TUNE on my web site. CAFT had won the Pittsburgh Symphony’s Audience of the Future Composition Competition. Maestro Reynolds commissioned a Wind Ensemble version of the piece (which became ACROSS THE DIVIDE, still my most popular work). My most recent commissions are THE TIME TRAVELER, an epic four-movement programmatic suite for advanced wind ensemble, currently in its exclusivity period (available for general programming starting July 2023), and THE TOURNAMENT (available for general programming starting January 2024).