saxophone quartet, drums/percussion
FIVE is a three-movement composition for saxophone quartet and drums/percussion. The origins for this piece came from two sources – my long-time plan to write a sax quartet as a complement to my other saxophone solo pieces and my interest in exploring the extraordinary sounds and techniques of both the drum kit and the quints – a set of tenor drums normally only used in marching bands and line-drum ensembles. The piece is about exuberant and powerful playing exploiting the dexterity and power of four saxophones with the drum kit and vibraphone. The three movements are entitled: Frantic, Languid, Out-of-Line. I am grateful to Chris Ozley, a percussionist and graduate composition student at UT Austin for his assistance with setup and notation for the quints.
Parts available from the composer
Premiere: Porto, Portugal. July 2012
soprano saxophone and interactive media (Max/MSP)
DARK ETHERS/BRIGHT LIGHTS was commissioned by saxophonist Shirley Diamond and composed during 2008 and 2009. It is in two continuous but distinct parts. Dark Ethers explores murky electronic sounds along with saxophone processing including delays, reverb, harmonizations and frequency shifting. Bright Lights is a strongly rhythmic piece with familiar sounds emerging and fading through the mix. The harmonica “harp” sounds were performed and recorded by the composer. At all times, the saxophone is the central element in this piece.
Shirley Diamond, saxophone.
December 2010, McCullough Hall,
The University of Texas at Austin
alto saxophone (or English horn) and fixed media
Fast Dance was composed in 2005 for the superb oboe and English horn performer, Susan Tomkiewicz who graduated from UT Austin a couple years earlier. Ms. Tomkiewicz specifically asked for a "tape" part, not an interactive computer part. This led to a kind of "studio mix" approach to the accompaniment. The piece is in two main sections connected by an quiet interlude. The opening section is aggressive - perhaps a bit war-like. The final section ends on a positive note and is the "fast dance"of the title - perhaps a joyous celebration of the end of brutal, aggressive behaviour. (I saw a T-shirt once that boldly stated: "Fuck Art, Let's Dance!")
An adaption for Alto Saxophone was requested by Portuguese composer and saxophone performer, Gilberto Bernardes. Very few notes are changed in this version and, of coure, the tape part is identical. Premiere - April 2011, Porto.
English Horn Score - original (pdf)
Alto Sax Score - adaptation (pdf)
soprano/alto sax, tenor/baritone sax, piano
Club Life was commissioned by Dale Stammen for Quark's Trio in 1999. The original included real-time electronics in SuperCollider2 - an audio language that is not longer operable. The Trio version is the same piece with some minor revisions but without the electronics. The idea of the piece is really all about jazz saxophone - not swing but the muscular relentless 8th note type solos of "hard bop", especially John Coltrane. The form is standard "jazz": head, 3 solos, head. Of course this piece will not sound like jazz in a literal sense but the gestures, energy and harmonic language all come from my personal experiences as a jazz saxophone player. This work was presented in its original form (with electronics) at the International Computer Music Conference in Miami by the Quarks Trio. The work was recorded by Quarks at the Banff Center for the Arts.
The trio version was premiered in Porto, Portugal. March, 2011.
Sax1 part (pdf),
Sax2 part (pdf),
Piano Score (pdf)
Original with electronics (Banff Center for the Arts)
soprano sax, electronics
Praescio-I was premiered by the composer at the June in Buffalo series in 1987. It is the first in a series of works for interactive electronics and one or more instruments. This current version is for soprano saxophone, tape and optional sax processing. There is no real score - rather there is an improvisation guide. It has been broadcast on CBC radio and performed in Europe, Canada and the US.
fixed media available from the composer
Bruce Pennycook, soprano saxophone.
soprano/alto sax, piano
Three Pieces for Saxophone was commissioned by Canadian saxophonist, Paul Brodie. It was originally scored for saxophone and tape which I have adapted for saxophone and piano. This work was premiered by Paul Brodie in Toronto in 1981 and has been performed numerous times by several players including the composer. It has been broadcast on CBC radio and performed in Europe, Canada and the US.
parts available from the composer.
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