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I have created this site in order to provide performers, listeners and composers with a description of a composer's experiences with the creative process. The posts will provide discussions of the inspirations, challenges, and successes of a composer from the inception of the piece to the culmination in performance. I will provide a link to where you can see and hear the works in progress. Comments and questions are always welcomed. They will not posted unless you grant me permission.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

The New Colossus for Clarinet and Prerecorded Sounds

This composition was commissioned by and dedicated to Vanessa Davis. It was inspired by the ongoing controversy regarding immigration policies of the Trump administration and serves as a reminder of how immigrants helped the United States became a world leader and were once welcomed with open arms. The poem "The New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus served as both an inspiration for the clarinet solo line and also as material for the prerecorded sounds.

The prerecorded sounds consist of a ship's horn, clarinet key clicks, ocean waves, drumming, and various readings of the poem. The readings have been segmented into fragments and interspersed between the clarinet playing. Male, female, and children's voices have been used and in one section, both English and Spanish occur. Some manipulation of the voices was done to create interest and there are times where more than one voice are speaking simultaneously.

The clarinet line both reflects and anticipates the text. The piece is through-composed although repeated and developed motives add structure to the free form line. At one point multiphonics are used as a duet to the ship's horn. The piece ends triumphantly with the hope that past American values will triumph over prejudice.

The video below contains both the clarinet part and prerecorded sounds.

As always, your comments are appreciated.

Dr. B

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