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Neem Karoli Baba

A Little Poem


Theme from 2004; composed March 9-31, 2015
Duration: about 5 minutes 30 seconds
cover photo: Neem Karoli Baba with two devotees

Currently (fall 2023) this is the second movement of  Popular Music of Planet X. I am revising this work and orchestrating it for full orchestra as Symphony No. 1. When that is complete, A Little Poem for band will only be offered as a separate piece.

Full Score, PDF        Cover     Parts     

Largo    [5:44] 

    Chamber version recording (piano and woodwind quintet)   MP3     WAV file (CD quality)


          In 1990 I wrote several works for my friend Fred Robinson who was the composer/arranger at Warner Robins Air Force Base in Georgia. Among these was a work for jazz band, The Popular Music of Planet X in three “Books”. The idea was the rather whimsical one that somewhere among the myriad planets there could be a civilization where the prime incentive for the music industry was not mercenary. Clearly such a planet must be far far away. The Air Force didn’t seem to appreciate the effort, and the score and parts were returned. (When you bomb with the Air Force….you REALLY BOMB!) 
          Come summer of 2004 and I once again was writing music, and turned my attention to the old PMPX. I made many major alterations and had a brand new version. However, this work remained unperformed, difficult to play, and of no interest to jazz bands. Thus in 2015 I decided to try again; the piece is now for concert band, which is much better suited to the idiom. The only surviving movement from the old version is much of Bump and Grind, which is the last part of PMPX. The opening theme of A Little Poem dates from the 2004 jazz band PMPX, and otherwise is newly composed in 2015.
          I am offering A Little Poem as a separate work, since the larger PMPX might be too long to fit on many programs, or to submit to composition contests. It is of the same orchestration as the other movements of PMPX, except that there are two instead of three trumpets. The second alto saxophone has only a few measures of music, and in a pinch his part can be played by clarinets.
              There is a version of A Little Poem for woodwind quintet and piano (second movement of Miniatures). The chamber version recording offered here is from a performance in 2019 at Meredith College, Raleigh NC.
Performance Notes
          The String Bass part is intended for an acoustic bass. An electric bass may not be used in its stead. If an electronic keyboard is used instead of an acoustic piano, it should have a concert grand piano sound. However, the preference is strongly in favor of a real piano. Accidentals hold through the measure and not beyond. This is a C score with the usual transpositions in the parts. If a conductor requires a transposed score, I will provide one, with considerable grumbling.