Works in Progress

There are three works of mine now in progress. I just began a piece for solo bass clarinet which I anticipate will be in three or four contrasting movements. The bass clarinet is a wonderful instrument to write for. I love it’s deep, rich lower register and and there is something endearing about its shrill upper register.In the hands of an accomplished player,the instrument can jump nimbly from one register to the next. I like, for example, the way a pair of bass clarinets fly up and down in arpeggiated figures in  Stravinsky’s Right of Spring.

My chamber orchestra piece is proceeding well. I’m just about at the halfway point and hope to be able to finish the work by the end of the summer. And summer is central to the piece. Summer in the desert is the time when the light is at it’s brightest. June is the month when the ‘dry heat’ seems to envelop you and the sky is perpetually blue. When July rolls around,clouds begin to billow up over the mountains. There is a gentle rumbling of distant thunder and the summer rains are lurking in the wings ready to make their dramatic appearance. A sinister scherzo unfolds in the second half of the work and a rumbling set of timpani is about ready to make its entrance.

After a number of attempts, my Tenor Saxophone, Marimba piece finally seems to be on solid footing. I hope to give you a progress report in a few weeks.