For wind ensemble, grade 6
Black Bolt (or Blackagon Boltagar) is a lesser-known character in the Marvel comic universe. Besides the standard superhuman strength, his super power is called the “hypersonic scream” which he activates simply through the act of speaking. His hypersonic scream is capable of leveling entire cities, therefore, through meditation and rigorous training, Black Bolt developed the ability to never utter a sound, even while asleep. Black Bolt, a dark and morally complex hero, is represented by a motive drawn from the letters B-O-L-T (Bb, dO, La, Ti or Bb, C, A Bn). Black Bolt’s arch-nemisis is a madman named Maximus. The relationship between Black Bolt and Maximus is complicated by the fact that Maximus is actually Black Bolt’s brother. Furthermore, Maximus’ psychosis was caused directly by Black Bolt’s hypersonic scream. This makes the relationship between the two quite twisted and complex. Maximus is represented by quotations from classical music - notably from Mozart, Saint-Saëns, and Schubert. The decision to use classical quotations comes from what is now a cliche in the movies of the cultured villian who loves classical music. The quotations are distorted, sometimes grotesquely in order to convey Maximus’ sick mind and twisted sense of humor. Of course, in the end, Black Bolt defeats Maximus. After a moment of sad reflection over his brother’s demise at his hands, Black Bolt returns to his superhero-ly duties, because after all, a superhero’s work is never done.
Black Bolt! was commissioned by John P. Lynch for the University of Georgia Wind Ensemble and premiered
in March, 2013.