Silver Age Fanfare (2020)
For brass choir and percussion
The Golden Age of comic books took place from 1938 to 1956, during which time the characters of Superman, Batman, Captain America, and Wonder Woman entered into the American zeitgeist. However, after World War II, comics about superheroes lost popularity as works about war, horror, crime, and romance took a larger share of the comic market. It was the Silver Age (1956 - c. 1970) that saw the resurgence of the superhero archetype, reviving older Golden Age heroes to be published under their own names, like Aquaman, Green Lantern, and Hawkman, and introducing new characters such as Spiderman, Iron Man, the Fantastic Four, and the Hulk. If not for the success of this era of comics, the enduring pervasiveness of the superhero archetype in American culture may not have been ensured.
Silver Age Fanfare does not adhere to any exact program or intend to depict any particular character, but rather seeks to encapsulate the optimism and, as comics scholar Arnold T. Blumberg dubbed it, “innocence” of tone that this era of superhero stories were usually told with. Additionally, the work leans heavily on the relationship between superheroes and the sound of brass fanfare that has been upheld with over forty years of film scores for the genre. Moments of bold heroism are contrasted against sections that conjure more sinister, villainous imagery, but it’s the themes rooted in optimism and “good” that prevail at the end of the work.