Reblogged from AVIDduoMusic!
As we prepare for our upcoming performances in the Czech Republic later this month, we thought it would be nice to post about the new pieces which were written for us this season! All of these pieces are on our program in Czech, and will be recorded in the upcoming months. Both the music and recordings will be available later this fall to anyone else wishing to perform some of this great duet music for the flute and saxophone!
Chris Reza, NY
Synergy, a work written for AVIDduo, is about the formation of a single being through the combining of two separate entities. This new entity has an effect that is greater than the two individual parts. While one can say this is representative of all collaborative musical works, and of all reality, this piece was explicitly written with this concept in mind. Mr. Reza is honored to have had Brittany Primavera and Jeffery Kyle Hutchins premiere Synergy at the 35th Navy Band Symposium at George Mason University, as well as perform it internationally.
Leonardo’s Sketchbook (2011)
Kirk O’Riordan, PA
I. quasi-cadenza; insistent, with energy
II. misterioso; very freely
III. legatissimo, senza espressione
IV. simplice ma ritmico, legatissimo sempre
V. cadenza; impulsive
VI. freely; with energy
VII. slowly; senza espressione
Leonardo’s Sketchbook was commissioned by the Phi Tau Chapter of Mu Phi Epsilon at the University of North Texas for AVIDduo: Brittany Primavera, flute; Jeffery Kyle Hutchins, saxophone.
Leonardo’s Sketchbook plays on the idea of an inventor writing down ideas for inventions in a notebook. The “inventions” are similar to Bach’s Inventions…two part works that are highly imitative and employ on occasion some fancy contrapuntal tricks, like mirror canons, etc. Like some of the inventor’s ideas, some are more developed than others… some elaborate, some very simple. They are performed without pause.
Falling to the Sea (2012)
John Richard, MI
As I was composing Falling to the Sea and thinking about the primary melodic gesture of the piece, I imagined a small mountain stream twisting among the rocks and dropping from the cliffs as it flowed towards the ocean. It’s not that the music I wrote evokes alpine meadows and waterfalls, but the image I had of flowing and falling water was analogous to the floating and descending gestures that shape the piece. These gestures appear in several forms throughout the music. In the beginning, the saxophone’s long, floating tones create a sense of motionlessness (interrupted by the flute’s short bursts) before the melodic line begins to descend in pitch and accelerate, the sax eventually joining in with the flute’s twisting chromatic figures. In another instance, the flute and sax play high, sustained pitches that descend chromatically together as they accelerate. And this is the gesture—falling and picking up speed—that is elaborated and developed throughout the piece and which forms the main structural material of the work. There is another important gesture found in the fast, chromatic, twisting fragments that begin and end the composition. They develop in a different manner than the “falling” gesture, transformed in the middle section of the piece into slow, winding, melodies. Falling to the Sea was written for the AVIDduo, Brittany Primavera, flute and Jeffery Kyle Hutchins, saxophone.
Lenka Štůralová, CZ
The piece Interactions was composed in autumn 2011 in Ostrava, Czech Republic for AVIDduo. The main body of the piece is focused on constant interactions between two elements, represented by the flute and the saxophone, whose coexistence is developing in a variety of ways which continuously change, but ultimately lead to an agreeable ending.
Avocado at Midnight (2011)
Jeffery Kyle Hutchins, MN
Composed for AVIDduo, Avocado at Midnight is the first movement of a larger work titled Fruit Pieces, which may be performed together or separately. Each short movement is based on an ear-worm idea that somehow got stuck in my head and found it’s way to paper. The other movements Tangerine at Twilight and Pineapple at Noon, like the first movement, more or less have nothing to do with fruit or time, except that they are short and sweet. And probably a little fruity.
New commission finished! Recently, my wonderful duo partner, EunHye Grace Choi, and I received a grant from the Co-Op Press fund to record a CD together this next spring. It will be a recording of American saxophone sonatas by William Albright, Sy Brandon, David Biedenbender, and Jennifer Higdon. The piece by Sy Brandon was written especially for Grace and myself. It is a fun, light-hearted sonata for the tenor saxophone and piano called Sonata "Funtasies". It was just recently completed and if you are interested in checking it out, Dr. Brandon posted it on his composing blog. To read about the piece in detail and his process of composing it, you can check out the blog here. You can also just view the score and listen to a midi-realized recording here. We are definitely looking forward to premiering it this upcoming Fall!
With a little less than a month to go until the World Saxophone Congress in Scotland, I thought I would take some time to write about Mark Oliveiro's new composition Baayami: From the Sky which I will be premiering on July 12. It has been a terrific experience workshopping this piece with Mark over the past week and putting all of the pieces together in this intense and extremely intricate piece.
I first heard Mark's music at the 2010 NASA Biennial Conference in Georgia when Zach Shemon premiered TANOX for alto saxophone, harp, and fixed media. Later that year, as Mark started at the University of North Texas, we had the opportunity to work together and collaborate on some of his music, including TANOX and a new composition for saxophone quartet and fixed media called Re(ed)Mix - 2.0, which is dedicated to the Zzyzx Saxophone Quartet. After a great experience working on these pieces, I knew that I would like to commission Mark to write a new solo composition for me to premier at the Congress. Thus, Baayami is born.
The image above is the finished score of Baayami: From the Sky. This is what Mark writes about the piece...
"The ancients of prehistoric Australia were a mystic people, a nomadic culture rich in animistic reverence. In order to trace the footsteps of their forbears, the original inhabitants of Sydney, Australia, walked the lines of stars and song as a homage to the elders with the promise of survival. Engravings of astrological maps, shamanistic symbology and petroglyphic markings are the final remnants of this aged guild of celestial worship. Baayami is a contemporary adaptation of a musical reading of the Sydney Rock Engravings, with respect to the real and the imaginary, this is a work of fictional historical recreation."
The score is a representation of the night sky as seen from Australia. Each star is represented by a different symbol and the constellations are connected by dark lines, which also may or may not contain various symbols. Each symbol has a different meaning and musical gesture based on some aspect or component of Aboriginal music. The piece is broken into nine equal sections, represented by the lunar phases at the top of the score, each containing a different fundamental tone. For each lunar phase, only one constellation will be played. After that phase is over, the performer would then move onto an adjacent constellation. There are about twenty different constellations represented above, but only nine will be played in any given performance which gives this piece a very unique aspect in that it could be performed very differently every time. Another interesting aspect of this piece is that the size and location of each symbol on the map above correlates to different dynamics and pitch material, which is then further influenced by relationship of the star (symbol) to the lunar cycle (fundamental tone).
As you can see, each symbol has its own page of instructions on how to create sound from the star map. The process of learning this piece has been way more complicated than traditional notated music, as I must first look at the symbol on the star map, figure out what musical gesture should be played and in what manner, determine the pitch material based on the location and dynamics based on the size, and then put it all together as musically as possible. That being said, I love this concept for this piece because I must essentially walk through the star map one star and constellation at a time. A very (musically) literal way of retracing the ancient Australians footsteps as they would have guided their way through the stars.
I will not go into detail on the specifics of each symbol, but I will say that you could expect to hear various notated gestures, loud vocalizations and extended techniques such as multiphonics, singing and playing, etc. Some of these may or may not contain minimal body movement. In addition, there will be two percussion instruments that I will play with my feet as this is happening! :-)
I look forward to premiering this piece at the World Saxophone Congress, and hope that if you are in Scotland that you will attend my recital on July 12 at 12PM in St. Leonard's Chapel!!!
You can view the recital program page for the event here.
Visit Mark Oliveiro's website here.
Check out this video of Aboriginal music here.
Listen to me perform Mark's piece TANOX here.
Michael Duffy's new piece Ni Thuigim... for four tenor saxophones (which I talked about in my last blog post) was recorded a few weeks ago and is now posted on Mike's Tumblr. Give it a little listen a see what you think. It was fun to put together and has some really great textures throughout. Listen to it here. The other performers are Alexander Richards, Tyler Cessor, and Jeremy Wagner.
Saxophonist, Artist, Listener, Thinker, Teacher, Performer, Curator, Veggie, Reader, Lover of Contemporary Music