"Monkey Mind" (for Concert Band) by Mark Wolfram is an original composition based on the Chinese and Sino-Japanese Buddhist term meaning "unsettled; restless; capricious; whimsical; uncontrollable." Sometimes monkey mind arises at bedtime when unruly thoughts race and build. Counting sheep just won't settle a monkey mind! Many people use meditation and deep breathing techniques in an effort to calm and relax themselves. Some try a glass of warm milk, while others just give up and let the monkey mind win, hoping to rest at a later time.
Mr. Wolfram's musical depiction of the monkey mind begins with an agitated motif in the clarinets - passed along to the saxophones - and ultimately taking over the piece. As the band trades various wild and fidgety musical elements, the full ensemble builds to a high point where a Tam-tam is sounded. This begins a section of introspection and an attempt to calm the anxious music. But in true monkey mind tradition the texture gradually resumes more activity as the tension and dynamics rise again. The flutes reprise the original clarinet motif which quickly devolves into a repeat of the tense and building section. As it climaxes there are a few attempts to quiet the mind - and the solo flute and piccolo endeavor to put the piece "to bed" followed by a low woodwind "sigh." But in the end the monkey mind prevails with a full ensemble shout of the original motif.
"Monkey Mind" is a GRADE 6 concert band composition with a duration of approximately 6:00.
A complete set of full-sized parts and a bound, transposed
full score are included. Available only through this website from Sound Studio Publications. The instrumentation/parts distribution for each set is as follows: