The Smoke that Thunders (Brass Band)

Commissioned for Brass in Concert Championships 2012. Here performed by Virtuosi GUS Band, it was also part of their winning performance at Butlins Mineworkers Championships 2013. The work tells the story of David Livingstone's journey to discover Victoria Falls. The piece starts out in optimistic fashion, with the Scottish folk song 'A man's a man for a' that' by Rabbie Burns, which Livingstone reportedly used to hum on his travels. The next section describes his battles with local African tribes, who were suspicious of his motives. After surviving these assaults, a more reflective section ensues, which describes the doubts Livingstone had about continuing his mission. This is epitomised by the hymn 'Lord, send me anywhere', which Livingstone himself wrote. The final section describes his journey along the Zambesi River, the triumphant sounds eliciting his elation at discovering the magnificent Victoria Falls, or as it is known by locals, 'Mosi-oa-Tunya' (The smoke that thunders).

Posted by wainwright_andrew on January 24, 2013 at 9:04 AM 5817 Views

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1 Comment

Reply b52harms
6:55 AM on January 25, 2013 
Incredible piece of music by a musician whom I saw taking his first 'musical steps' in the Young People's Band in Harare, Zimbabwe under the leadership and teaching of Eric Theinhardt. As I listened to the music and watched the video I could imagine myself standing on the banks of the Zambezi river, lost in the wonder and majesty of the magnificent 'Smoke That Thunders'. I recalled all that I had read (and been taught as a schoolboy) about the great explorer and missionary that Livingstone had been and it made the music even more enjoyable. Thank you for a meaningful and inspiring piece of music. Your video was very good as well.