Saxophony is a suite of four pieces scored for 2 alto saxophones. piano and a string ensemble (4 violins, 2 Violas, 2 Cellos and a Double Bass). For the most part the alto saxophones are to the fore (although none of the supporting instruments are exactly shrinking violets ...) and the pieces explore this instrument's expressive and rhythmic fortes, rather than its virtuosic capabilities.
Some words about each piece ... I has a somewhat pop-ish feel; II is reminiscent of an old-time crooner's ballad; III is a cheeky little 6/8 number with some impish harmonies; and IV is in a nutty 7/4 time, starts off with an un-square Charlston-ish lick and then roves all over the place ... as you would expect of a finale - right?
Variations on a theme, written for pipe organ, alto saxophone and english horn, and entered into competition for the American Guild of Organists' 2014 Marilyn Mason Award in Organ Composition.
Apparently the competition was so fierce that the judges have failed to agree on a single winner, and consequently no prize will be awarded! However, you get to listen to my effort - and follow along with the score - should you so choose.
This is a setting of Psalm 137, sung in German, with text taken from the 1984 revision of the Luther Bibel. Scored for SATB Choir, Organ and Percussion, it was written originally as an entry to a composition competition sponsored by the Carl von Ossietzky University in Oldenburg, Germany.
I chose this text because as I re-read it after many years I was struck at how vividly it brings out a theme that is still relevant today - the clash of cultures, ideas and beliefs that seemingly results in an inability to communicate (or worse). I was also struck by the expressive nature of the language. The more I researched the text the more I was attracted to its musicality and the resulting opportunities for a composition.
Right now I'm writing another competition piece, this time for orchestra and due by the end of the year.
Next up (hopefully in parallel with the competition piece) will most probably be some electronic pieces using the Kontakt library, the myriad of synths that comes with my Sonar software, and perhaps even space for some of the great sounds in my Roland hardware synths.