Escape from Plato`s Cave


Escape from Plato`s Cave

Partitur + Stimmen


#699 at 16:33 for Band of the 3rd Millennium
© Stephen Melillo IGNA 28 February 1993... 2nd & 3rd Millennium
Commissioned by
Dr. Jack Stamp& The Indiana University of Pennsylvania Wind Ensemble
and by
Dr. Patrick Rooney& The James Madison University Wind Ensemble


This piece demands careful mixing and the greatest regard for tuning and intoning.  The tempo markings given are guidesonly.  “Time” is of far greater concern, than tempo.  Only a feelingful, understood rendering on the part of the conductorwill allow the Music to speak as intended.  The slows are much slower, the ritards so much more than can be written.
The harp part is designed to sound harp-like whether rendered on harp or keyboard, utilizing only white keys for theglissandi.  If using a keyboard, be sure to position the speakers within the ensemble.  Utilize reverb and mix into the texturecarefully.  It’s worth the extra effort.
In places where the Harp and the Piano are doubled, either instrument may be used at the discretion of the conductor.
MESSAGE OF THE MAN, the second movement may be rendered as a single piece, in which case the repetitive timpanipulse on D should end with the piece.  Of course, this is a 3-movement work.  Its meaning is best derived from the “whole”.
During the first movement, THE CAVE, percussionists may occasionally add, within the parameters of good taste,additional scrapes or other effects which I will leave to their Musical judgement.  These additional effects would occur onthe last 1/16th of the 4th beat in the percussion ostinato-cave figure.
In the event that the fast chromatic runs are too difficult for your situation, consider them as glissandi.  It is the effect whichis important here, the scurrying, the excitement, the drama.
Beginning at measure 108 in the last movement, we are moved “Into the Light!”  Between the Harp, the Piano, the Chimes,the Orchestra Bells and the Vibraphone, an aleatoric effect is intended.  The harp should “gliss” or tremolo the written figureas quickly as possible.  It is the same for the other melodic percussion instruments.  Establish this glistening effect first andthen build the rest of the ensemble into it!
During the very last measure, these instruments should play the notes that are written, not in the feel of the tempo, but atRANDOM and out of tempo, despite the fact that there is a fermata going on.  The effect needs to continue despite the factthat the last measure calls for a huge, long romantic sustain!  Please be sure to read the BRIEF INTRO TO MELILLOMUSIC.


Plato tells a story in which cave-dwellers are deprived the knowledge of the Light outside.  In this story, ESCAPE FromPLATO’S CAVE!... the people of the Underworld are visited by a Man from the Light.  He tells them of a wondrousworld... outside. Some Cave-dwellers struggle against the would-be listeners, using chains to forever imprison them in theshadows of the Cave.  His message heard, a few take on the challenge of the Escape and eventually, through noble battleand dark journey, emerge from the shadowy underworld... Into the Light!
1.The Cave, The Struggle, and The Man from the Light.
2.Message of the Man  (The Fragile Heart)
3.Escape... Into the LIGHT!


At the very moment I had reached that transitory moment in the third movement, the transcendence from “D”ark to “G”od,the phone rang. Father Peter Rinaldi had died.  As a boy growing up, so often running to him at recess and serving masswith him every day of the summer, he taught me, by action, the Message of “the Man”... a message of Love.  He literallygave me the shirt off his back one day, no show, no lesson, only Love.  His entire Life was in dedication to somethinghigher... a Prayer to that which humbled him.  My young adult novel, ONLY FOR NOW, was dedicated to him, his namethat of the main character.  Subconsciously, I’ve quoted the 9-movement Wind Ensemble Suite, my first piece, inspired bythat book.  Now, Father Rinaldi has gone... into the Light.  He would not have me dedicate anything to him.  His eyes werealways looking upward... beyond himself.  But, to him, another Man from the Light... I bow humbly and offer back thatwhich was, and never really will be mine to give.
Godspeed, Sincerely... SLM

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Rundfunk-Blasorchester Leipzig / Stephen Leonard Melillo CD (Compact Disc)



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