Drum Corps International
Spotlight of the Week: 2006 Southwind, 'Duality'

Spotlight of the Week: 2006 Southwind, 'Duality'

by Michael Boo


2006 Southwind
Southwind fell out of the DCI World Championship Semifinals in 2006, the year prior to the corps' last competitive season. The group's 18th place show, "Duality," was inspired by spiritual teacher Francis Lucille's quote, "Enlightenment is the sudden recognition that non-duality is, has always been, and will always be the reality of our experience. Duality is an illusion." And thus, the effect of visual as well as musical illusions was a constant theme throughout this production. One part of the dictionary definition of "duality" refers to parts that are complementary or opposed to each other. Through the course of the show, the concept was represented visually in the use of one side vs. the other side, the front vs. the back, forward movement vs. moving in reverse, flags vs. weapons, and half the corps dressed in white vs. the other half dressed in black. Musically, the concept was represented by high sounds pitted against low sounds, classical motifs against contemporary music, wooden sounds vs. metallic tinkling, the brass vs. percussion, and sound vs. silence. In addition, throughout the production, the musical ensemble was often presented against the visual ensemble. For the majority of the program, the high brass section dressed mostly in white did not mix with the low brass and percussion members who were dressed mostly in black. But by the end of the show, those two groups were combined as one ensemble.
Despite the high concept of the show, there was no story line. However, the ongoing morphing of the color guard costumes and the color spectrum explored in the flags did lead some to look for a theme. The show was performed in three movements; "Spatial Duality," "Stylistic Duality," and "Temporal Duality." "Movement I—Spatial Duality" included "Profanation" by Leonard Bernstein, "Firebird Suite" by Igor Stravinsky, "In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war" by David Holsinger, "Lost in the Darkness" from "Jekyll and Hyde" by Frank Wildhorn and Frank Leamon, "Pie Jesu" by Andrew Lloyd Webber, "Incantations" from Cirque du Soleil by Benoit Jutras, and original music by corps arranger Steve Vento. Little of these selections were heard in one continuous flow of melody. Rather, the melodies were reinvented, mixed together, continually evolving out of one another and sometimes layered upon one another.

2006 Southwind
The atmospheric "Clare de Lune" by Claude Debussy was the sole work in "Movement II—Stylistic Duality." The piece was from "Suite Bergamesque," one of Debussy's most famous piano suites, the creation of which stretched from 1890 to 1905. Bright orange flags and swatches of orange on the blue costumes of the guard contrasted the quiet solitude of the music during this movement. "Movement III—Temporal Duality" included original material by Vento and some of the melodies heard previously, with the slightest rhythmic hints of Shostakovich's "Symphony No. 10." It was here that the entire corps finally mixed together, with the light and dark uniforms of the horns alternating in a final statement of hope and resolve.

For this week only, you can save on the DVD that contains this complete Southwind performance, along with all corps from Volume II of the 2006 Division I DCI World Championship DVD set.

Buy the Division I Volume II DCI World Championship DVD (Available this week only for 20% off. Regular price: $35.95.)
Michael Boo was a member of the Cavaliers from 1975-1977. He has written about the drum corps activity for more than a quarter century and serves as a staff writer for various Drum Corps International projects. Boo has written for numerous other publications and has published an honors-winning book on the history of figure skating. As an accomplished composer, Boo holds a bachelor's degree in music education and a master's degree in music theory and composition. He resides in Chesterton, Ind.

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