Features for Carillon and Brass is a two movement work to highlight carillons and brass instruments. Carillons, also known as bell towers, is a keyboard instrument housed in many church towers or towers in municipal buildings. The actual sound is created by hammers hitting several large bronze bells. These bells can weigh up to 100 tons. Additionally, their distinct shape gives them a distinct sound.
The first movement, Fanfare, combines many of the common associations of carillons and brass. The carillon opens on a repeated note, which is reminiscent of bell towers signaling the hour. And brass instruments are commonly associated with fanfares, especially with fast, repeated notes. The minimalist style of this movement perfectly suites these associations.
The second movement features a more lyrical side of both the carillon and brass. The entire movement is based on Dies Irae, a Gregorian Chant from the 1200s. While the entire chant is presented at various points, it is only done so in fragments. Of all the fragments, the opening four notes of Dies Irae are the most common fragment.