Every Version of Pipe Dreams Ever

Last week, Pipe Dreams–a piece I started writing in 2009, received its second premiere, this time by the NDSU Wind Symphony. 

Second premiere? Am I even allowed to do that? Well, I did. 

Pipe Dreams started out as the last thing I’d write as an undergrad, and the first thing I’d work on as a grad student…and as a doctoral student…and as a “professional” composer. It received its first premiere in May of 2009 as a percussion octet. It was the first piece of mine accepted to a conference (an SCI Regional Conference at Kansas State in 2010). It brought me some attention with the Oklahoma Composers Association, which was my first real commission. Anyone who has played anything of mine written since will realize the beginnings of my infatuation with time signatures.

And then it was a slacker. I added a couple of movements to it, but neither movement was as impressive as the original. I came back to it again in 2012, reworking it into a band piece. And then I returned once more in 2014, tweaking the orchestration.

Because this piece exists in a bunch of different versions, I thought I’d run through how the piece developed.

2009-03-05. Piano Version
2009-03-17. Percussion Octet Version. This version received the original premiere in May of 2009.
2009-08-30. The intro has been moved to the second movement (not included). There’s also an expanded ending (you can see the end date and duration text block at the original ending), though it’s incomplete.
2009-09-05. The new ending is now more orchestrated.
2009-09-06. The next day, there’s a new minor section.
2009-11-01. All. Three. Movements. Listen at your own risk.
2012-06-25. Returning to it in summer of 2012, you’ll wonder why everything is tiny. I have no answer for you. You’ll notice that the first two movements are gone, and the orchestration is…doing its best.
2012-06-28 – The orchestration is doing somewhat better. There are still some wrong notes.
2012-08-22 – Orchestration is about as good as it’s going to get with this version. This was the final version…before the percussion got rearranged and condensed.
2014-06-06 – Better orchestration, better percussion writing.
2018-09-01 – Reworked ending, made some of the parts less boring.

Nine-and-a-half years later, here we are. It’s still a fun piece…but let’s not forget the best version of all: the 8-bit version.

Decorative element
Kyle Vanderburg