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la composition


Composed in 2008

Duration: 10:00

Instrumentation: flute, clarinet, bassoon


LA Composition had its beginnings in a conversation with my friend Rich Ramberg, a bassoonist I met at the fantastic Henry Mancini Institute summer festival. When I visited him in Los Angeles in February 2008, he began telling me all about his new group, Third Wheel, and mentioned that they were on the lookout for some new material. I immediately offered to write something for them. As a California native, I wanted to create a piece imbued with the vibrancy and optimism of the west coast.

My idea was to compose a single movement in three parts, all developing out of the opening sonority: the note A (La in solfège) followed by the two pitches a perfect fifth away on either side (E above and D below). This becomes the defining harmonic structure of the piece, while the rhythms that emerge out of the opening texture become the main rhythmic structures of the thematic material. The opening section is largely centered on an angular theme that begins with the same three opening notes (E, A, and D). The slower second section begins with a flute solo based on this theme before going into a brief cantilena with a new theme. A transition using various snippets of earlier material slowly and stealthily becomes a loosely-constructed double fugue, combining a new subject with the original theme, before hurtling to a wild conclusion.



First Performance: September 13th, 2008

Contrapuntal Hall, Los Angeles, CA

Third Wheel: Karin Kantenwien, flute; Adrienne Geffen, clarinet; Richard Ramberg, bassoon


Related Works:


Flying Solo

Time Crunch

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