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For Wind Ensemble
S H U Y I N G L I M U S I C
THE LAST HIVE MIND
FOR WIND ENSEMBLE
S H U Y I N G L I M U S I C
Published by SHUYING LI MUSIC
© Copyright 2021 Shuying Li
Dedicated to Glen Adsit
The Last Hive Mind was originally written for conductor Glen Adsit and the Foot in the Door Ensemble at
the Hartt School. Inspired by the British TV series, Black Mirror, and the general idea of recent increasing
debate around artificial intelligence and how it will affect our daily lives as human beings. I put some of my
thoughts, perspectives, and imagination into this work. Thanks to Glen for coming up with the dynamic and
matching title — it also helped in the shaping of how musical narrative navigates its way throughout.
Mainly, I was struck by the idea in one episode of "Black Mirror," the "Metalhead." After the unexplained
collapse of human society, a group of people tried to flee from the robotic "dogs," a vast hive mind with
metal built bodies and powerful computerized "brains." The failure was almost predictable. However, a
detail that struck me the most was the reason that these human beings got trapped in the crazy chase was
because of their effort of searching a comforting gift for a very sick child — a fluffy teddy bear. In The Last
Hive Mind, two forces fight with each other — the robotic, rhythmic, seemingly unbreakable "hive mind"
music, versus the dreamy, melodic, and warm "lullaby" tune. Lastly, presented by the piano, the "lullaby"
music is also a quote from my mini piano concerto, Canton Snowstorm. As the title indicates, this work
depicts the struggle between the artificial intelligence, or the hive mind, and the dimming humanity;
furthermore, the work implies the final collapse and breakdown of the last hive mind followed by its
• All trills are half step unless specifically noted;
• Unless specifically noted by numbers, all single notes in clarinets, trumpets, and trombones (in
score) are indicated for both parts (in unison).
• Conductor Note about Measures 145-156
The conductor should continue to conduct each measure and
the performers should play the pitches with irregular rhythms
that do not coordinate with one another. Bar lines are only
suggestions and not restrictions of what should be played
within each measure. Performers should continue playing
through each measure stopping in the measure with the arrow.
The conductor should use the numbering system in one hand
(on beat one of every measure) to indicate where the
performers stop and where others begin as explained below.
Measure 152 #1
Bassoon 2, Baritone Saxophone, Trumpets 1-3, Xylophone all
stop playing on the fourth beat
Measure 153 #2
Piccolo, Flue 2, Clarinets 2-3, Bass Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
1, Trombones 1-3, Euphonium, Tuba, all stop playing on the
Measure 154 #3
Piano begins playing
Oboe 2, Clarinet 1, Bassoon 1, Horns 1 & 2 all stop playing on
the fourth beat
Measure 155 #4
Oboe 1, Alto Saxophone 2 all stop playing on the fourth beat
Triangles, Wind Chimes begin playing near beat 2
Measure 156 #5
Flute 1, Tenor Saxophone all stop playing on the fourth beat
The Conductor slows down from quarter note equals 144 to
quarter note equals 72 from measures 151-158.
3 Clarinets in Bb
Bass Clarinet in Bb
2 Alto Saxophones
3 Trumpets in Bb
2 Horns in F
3 Tenor Trombones
Percussion 1: Drum set, 2-4 triangles in different sizes.
Percussion 2: Anvil, Drums (2 Tom-toms, Snare Drum, Bass Drum), Crash Cymbals, Wind
Percussion 3: Xylophone, Suspended Cymbals, Vibraphone, Triangles
Drum set notation (for both Percussion 1 & 2)
Duration: ca. 5 minutes