Benjamin Williams

A Golden Bough (2006)

A Golden Bough is a collection of music that is used for rituals or customs to mark significant moments throughout life. The work begins with a fanfare marked by bold gestures. A dance follows in the next movement that is comprised of exciting and conflicting rhythms and meters. The lament is a tortured harmonic landscape of tension and release. Finally, the work ends with a celebratory movement that is reminiscent of a joyful carol. The title is an allusion to The Golden Bough, by Sir James Frazer, an early study in cultural anthropology that examined and compared rituals and celebration throughout multiple cultures and religions, illustrating that there are many traits in common between seemingly disparate cultural practices around the world.

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