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March: Automata Inferna


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Automata Inferna is the second of a series of marches in the Off the Rails series; in which the music runs a spectrum from quite traditional, to increasingly quirky.

The title Automata Inferna loosely translates as Infernal Machines – a play on a Victorian-era quip brought on more and more by the industrial revolution of the early 19th Century.  People from all walks of life were concerned about various facets of new technologies and the – often negative – impact they had on quality of life.

Musically the piece is a development of an earlier piece of the same name for brass trio; it has been significantly expanded and brought into something mimicking a march form.

In 2022, as this piece was written, is it possible to draw a parallel with electronic technology?  Are the changes brought about in the face of new gadgets at all similar to those that happened nearly 200 years ago?

Automata Inferna was commissioned by Lauren Raby and the West City Youth Concert Band, for their 2022 annual Summer Camp.

A final note – the composer is no relation of Kenneth J. Alford, the great English march composer.


Large Band vs Small Band

  • Large band:  brass parts are as follows:  3 trumpets, 4 horns, 3 trombones, euphonium, tuba
  • Small band:  brass parts are as follows:  2 trumpets, 2 horns, 2 trombones, euphonium, tuba
Band Size

Large Band, Small Band