The Crater of Doom (Contrabassoon)



Prior to the 1990s, there was no unified theory on what caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. Could it have been changes in the weather? Disease? Geological change? Then came Dr. Walter Alvarez! Dr. Alvarez discovered a thin layer of the mineral iridium found in sedimentary rocks that were roughly 65 million years old. Knowing that iridium only comes from a meteor, he set out to find the source, a crater in the Yucatán peninsula of Mexico called Chicxulub. In 1991, Dr. Alvarez wrote a book called T.Rex and the Crater of Doom, describing the scientific journey to most widely accepted theory about the demise of the dinosaurs.

The Crater of Doom is inspired by this text. Although we think of the demise of the dinosaurs as a singular event (In a geological sense, this is sort of true.), it really occurred over thousands, and perhaps, millions of years. I wanted this piece to depict these events. In four movements, played without a break, one can hear lead up to the initial impact of the meteor strike, its aftermath, a lonely hunt by one of the last survivors, and the sunset of the dinosaur era.