Hero's Lament - Kenny Regan
Timberline BandFlex - Grade 1
Every hero must face a darkest hour. In the “Hero’s Journey” - a classic template that describes stories from Odysseus and Beowulf to Jane Eyre and The Wizard of Oz - this darkest hour is sometimes called “the ordeal in the abyss”, during which the hero will face their most dangerous trial but also employ their deepest and most sacred virtues. The hero’s journey, contrary to popular conception, is not a list of steps that writers should follow to make a good story, but rather it is an archetype: a meta-pattern that emerges from the way all of us as storytellers have sung about our shared human experience since time immemorial.
This piece aims to capture the drama of the hero’s lament through a solemn, almost chant-like melody. The tune first enters softly with the lowest instruments of the band. Then it is passed around the band, with each group of instruments responding in canon or inversion as the tune enters a new group. This builds to an epic climax during which the entire band laments together.
As part of Timberline Music Company’s FlexBand library, this piece has been designed to provide directors maximal flexibility in instrumentation. Each of the four melodic “Parts” is provided in multiple transpositions and may be played by any compatible instrument, including instruments that are not traditionally “band” instruments. All divisi are optional, and some parts provide a choice of octave to accommodate instrumental ability. Directors are encouraged to experiment with creative instrumentation decisions.