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A finalist in the Salford University International Composers' Competition 2014, 'The Smoke that Thunders' tells the story of David Livingstone's journey to discover Victoria Falls. The piece starts out in optimistic fashion, with a Scottish folk song by Rabbie Burns, which Livingstone reportedly used to hum on his travels. The next section describes his battles with local African tribes, who were suspicious of his motives. After surviving these assaults, a more reflective section ensues, which describes the doubts Livingstone had about continuing his mission. This is epitomised by the hymn 'Lord, Send Me Anywhere', which Livingstone himself wrote. The final section describes his journey along the Zambezi River, the triumphant sounds eliciting his elation at discovering the magnificent Victoria Falls, or as it is known by locals, 'Mosi-oa-Tunya' (The smoke that thunders). 


To view a video of the brass band version of the work please visit


Difficulty: Advanced


Sheet Music available from



Flute 1-2

Oboe 1-2

Clarinet in Bb 1-2

Bassoon 1-2

Horn 1-4

Trumpet in Bb 1-4

Trombone 1-2

Bass Trombone



Percussion 1-3


Tuned Bottles (blown)


The Smoke that Thunders (Orchestra) Andrew Wainwright

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