We returned from Europe one evening last week, packed our stuff, slept 4 hours, and at 5am began our 8-hour drive from Little Rock to Austin. Ugh.
Nice to be here, though. I’ve been setting up the apartment, assembling IKEA furniture, and fielding a nice influx of interest in some pieces. It appears H. Robert Reynolds and the USC Thornton Wind Ensemble will perform the first movement of Alchemy in Silent Spaces, the logic of all my dreams, on October 21st. Also, I’ll be heading to Seattle in November for the Western International Band Clinic, where Andrew Gekoskie and the Langley HS Wind Symphony will do Dusk (which they commissioned and premiered back in 2004). Never been to the Pacific Northwest and have always wanted to go, so looking forward to that! Two weeks later, I head to Rochester, NY, for the New York All-State, where they’ll premiere a new work I’m currently writing for them.
Speaking of the NY All-State Symphonic Band, let me tell you about this group. It’s HUGE. 153 players. 30 Bb Clarinets. 6 Bass Clarinets. 16 Horns (ok,that makes me drool with anticipation). And guess how many Oboes they have? You’ll need more than one hand. Not sure if that makes me drool or cower in fear (I kid, I kid!). Actually, this piece has been intimidating me for awhile – it presents quite the compositional dilemma. How do I create something that really takes advantage of all those players, but not make it impossible to program for anyone else? One idea I had was to divide the group into 2 – a “wind ensemble” of 1 on a part, and the remainder, which would still comprise a large symphonic band. Here’s the kicker – I wanted to put the entire “wind ensemble” out in the audience, or, well, around the audience. So it’d be a piece for symphonic band and antiphonal…band. Now I’m really drooling at that thought. With that I might could even rival that “it’s-so-loud-I-had-to-laugh” moment in Corigliano’s Circus Maximus.
Unfortunately, the powers that be said the Eastman Theater won’t have room for any such shenanigans. Bummer.
Ok, I should be working on the piece right now, in fact, instead of doing this, so…bis spaeter!