Rollin’ down #1 (2005)

Neil Currie

Neil Currie (b. 1955) is a native of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. He made a mark on the international scene in Australia, serving as composer in residence with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and composing works for performers like renowned guitarist John Williams. Mr. Currie returned to Canada in the 1990’s, earning his doctorate at the University of British Columbia. He was Artist-in-Residence at the Banff Centre in 1991, and Composer-in Residence with the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra from 1998-2001. Currently, he teaches composition at the University of Saskatchewan.


Have you ever taken a long car journey across the prairies? Do you remember looking out of your window at the sky, the fields, or perhaps the Rocky Mountains? It is this uniquely Western Canadian experience which was the inspiration for Neil Currie when he wrote Rollin’ Down #1. This process is best guided by repeated listenings of Rollin’ Down #1. It is suggested that the class listen to the piece in silence, at least twice, and discuss the activities as a group before starting.

Activity 1, Level: K – Grade 6

Close your eyes and listen to Neil Currie’s piece Rollin’ Down #1. Imagine you are on a long holiday journey with your parents. Draw a picture from the perspective of looking out of your car window. What do you see, in your mind? Is it day or night? What is the weather like?

Activity 2, Level: Grades 3 – 6

Listen to listen to Neil Currie’s piece Rollin’ Down #1 and answer the following questions. There are no absolutely correct answers. Feel free to relate your answers to car trips you have taken with your family.

  1. After listening to the piece, here are some questions for discussion and homework:
  2. As you listen to the music, do you think the car is going slow or fast?
  3. In your last long car trip, what was the weather like?
  4. Have you ever traveled on Highway #1? If yes, where were you going?
  5. Sometimes Highway #1 is referred to as the “Trans-Canada” highway. Why?
  6. Find Highway #1 on a Map of Canada. What cities and towns are connected by it in Alberta and Saskatchewan?

Write a short story about a real or imagined car trip you have taken. Take care to answer all 4 “W’s” in your story:

  • Who was traveling with you?
  • Where were you going?
  • Why were you going there”
  • When, and in what conditions, were you traveling? (day, night, season, weather, etc.)