Hello readers. I have been silent for a while because I am on a six-week tour doing presentations at colleges, universities, and conferences and hearing premieres of my music. I am managing to compose while traveling and camping in my little van. I have a USB powered one and a half octave keyboard (M-Audio's Oxygen 8) connected to my laptop and I am set to go.
The piece I am writing now is a six-movement composition for the Lyric Brass Quintet of Pacific Lutheran University. This faculty ensemble is putting together a CD of American music composed during the 20th and 21st Centuries for a recording project through Emeritus Recordings. They asked me to compose a piece with Americana influences and to feature a different member of the quintet in each movement. I am calling the piece "American Vignettes".
The first movement is a Hoedown and features the first trumpet. I use fragments and elaborations of "Old Chisholm Trail" and "Short'nin Bread" as the melodic material during the movement. Since this is the opening movement, I started with a fanfare section that treats all the brass equally. It contains quartal and tertian harmony as well as syncopation and call and response. From M 11-35, phrases from "Old Chisholm Trail" are broken up by a rhythmic accompaniment and a muted trumpet insert that gets more intrusive during the entire movement, as is it was competing for attention with the solo first trumpet. M 35-60 gets rolling without interruptions (except for the muted 2nd trumpet) with variants of both tunes and frequently modulates. An extended version of the opening re-occurs at M 60-74. More variants follow with modulations occurring more often as the movement builds to the coda that begins a M 112. The Coda recaps earlier material and finishes with a final flourish for the solo trumpet.
To see and hear what I have discussed, go to http://www.cooppress.net/american_vignettes_blog.html. You will be viewing a transposed score.
As always, your comments are appreciated.