for orchestra

Composition Date: 2006
Duration: 00:12:00
Genre: Orchestra / Large Ensembles, Full Orchestra (20 or more)


Instrumentation Set Number 1:
  • 1 x Piccolo
  • 2 x Flute
  • 2 x Oboe
  • 1 x English horn
  • 2 x Clarinet
  • 1 x Bass clarinet
  • 3 x Bassoon
  • 4 x Horn
  • 3 x Trumpet
  • 3 x Trombone
  • 1 x Tuba
  • 4 x Percussion
  • 1 x Harp
  • 1 x Celeste
  • 1 x Unspecified bowed strings
  • 1 x String orchestra
Instrumentation Set Number 2:
  • 1 x Full orchestra
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Programme Note:
I have always been fascinated with the forces that shape our landscape: rain, wind, and glaciers, to name a few. These forces have long captured our collective imagination. The word Gaia is the amalgam of two Greek words: Ge (??), which means Earth, and aia (a?a), which means Grandmother. It is also an ecological theory that proposes that Earth functions as a single organism. We are now becoming aware that our own ecological footprint is shaping the landscape and climate on a scale that stands to rival the natural forces of the world. It is quite a responsibility to live up to. These ideas were all guides for me throughout the creative process of this work. Gaia unfolds in three sections. Each section begins with a distinct texture inspired by the natural forces that shape our world. The first section is characterized by chord masses that move and collide with one another like giant ice sheets. The second part begins with staccato sounds featuring pizzicato strings and wooden claves, which represent sand skipping across the desert floor. The third movement begins as a meditation on the sound and motion of air. Gaia was commissioned by the Toronto Symphony with assistance from the Canada Council for the Arts.

Premiere Information:
08/03/2007 Roy Thomson Hall Toronto Toronto Symphony, Peter Oundjian, cond.


  • Call Number:
  • MI 1100 S784ga
  • Genre:
  • Orchestra / Large Ensembles, Full Orchestra (20 or more)
  • Date of Acquisition:
  • April 15, 2008
  • Type:
  • Print-music, Published by CMC
  • Physical Description:
  • 1 score (35 p.) ; 43 cm.
    35 Pages
    Height: 43 cm
    Width: 28 cm
    Parts page count: 140
    34 parts ([140] p.) ;
    Height: 28 cm
  • Additional Information:
  • Orchestra: 3333 4331 timp+ 3 perc, cel, harp, strings
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Gaia for Orchestra: Score
(downloadable PDF)
Gaia for orchestra by Andrew Staniland (Score)
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