God save the human cannonball
for fifteen players

Paul Frehner
Paul Frehner
Composition Date: 2009
Duration: 00:08:00
Genre: Orchestra / Large Ensembles, Chamber Orchestra (10 to 20)


Instrumentation Set Number 1:
  • 1 x Flute
  • 1 x Oboe
  • 1 x Clarinet
  • 1 x Bassoon
  • 1 x Horn
  • 1 x Trumpet
  • 1 x Trombone
  • 2 x Percussion
  • 1 x Piano
  • 2 x Violin
  • 1 x Viola
  • 1 x Violoncello
  • 1 x Double bass
Instrumentation Set Number 2:
  • 1 x Chamber orch.
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Programme Note:
God Save the Human Cannonball is based on the notion of ilinx as discussed by Roger Caillois. He describes it as a form of play that makes “an attempt to destroy momentarily the stability of perception and inflict a kind of voluptuous panic upon an otherwise lucid mind.” Fast and wild rides at amusement parks, skiing at high speeds, racing in sports cars are examples of ‘play’ activities that fall into the ilinx category. Of amusement park rides Caillois says, “it is worth watching people leaving these vertigo-inducing machines. The contraptions turn people pale and dizzy to the point of nausea. They shriek with fright, gasp for breath, and have the terrifying impression of visceral fear…. Moreover, the majority of them, before even recovering, are already hastening to the ticket booth in order to buy the right to again experience the same pleasurable torture.” In this piece I’m trying to musically capture the thrill of being blasted from a cannon, flying through the air and having a feathery-light landing.

Commissioned by: Aventa Ensemble

Premiere Information:
14/06/2009 Scandinavia House New York Aventa Ensemble Conductor: Bill Linwood


  • Call Number:
  • MI 1200 F861go
  • Genre:
  • Orchestra / Large Ensembles, Chamber Orchestra (10 to 20)
  • Date of Acquisition:
  • August 31, 2010
  • Type:
  • Print-music, Published by CMC
  • Physical Description:
  • 1 score (58 p.) ;
    58 Pages
    Height: 32 cm
    Parts page count: 108
    15 parts ([108] p.) ;
    Height: 28 cm
  • Additional Information:
  • flute, oboe, clarinet (also Eb and bass clarinets), bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone, 2 percussion, piano, string quintet
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God save the Human Cannonball for Fifteen Players: Score
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God save the human cannonball for fifteen players by Paul Frehner (Score)
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