Concerto for Orchestra
The "Concerto for Orchestra" has been known for its virtuosic tenacity. It serves as the model show piece for what an orchestra can do with its various instrumental families.
My ambition is to not only stay true many of the compositional attributes that masters such as Bartók and Lutosławski so skillfully laid out, but also begin to mesh the foundational ideals of this sub-genre of orchestral repertoire with my own stylistic & cultural roots.
Much of my work centers around the idea of seeing our collective humanity from different perspectives. As with many other age-old forms within the classical canon, as an artist I have begun to venture deeper, exploring rich cultural influences that inform and strengthen our collective human experience.
Duration: 35:00 (5 movements)
Available in 2 versions:
1. Version A -
3333 | 4331 | timp+4 perc, harp, pno/cel, strings + sax quartet
+ e.gtr & b.gtr
2. Version B -
3333 | 4331 | timp+4 perc, harp, piano/cel, strings
I. Shindig - an episodic rhapsody for orchestra that combines many raw American genres of music with that of the contemporary classical aesthetic, including jazz/funk, pop, and even elements of Hip-Hop. Through the interweaving of boisterous and very delicate orchestral textures, I sought to depict an ever-evolving "party" of instrumental exploration being guided by a single theme first played in the trumpets, then traveling throughout the ensemble. It is an epic journey of light, color, groove, and mystery.
II. Crunk - One of the most prominent musical experiences of my life is Black marching band culture. It is one of the most electrifying, culturally stimulating experiences of true classical Americana. From a very early age, I was immersed in these exciting sounds as I watched my sister play clarinet in the high school band, and then witnessed the glory of many of our friends & loved ones performing in some of the top HBCU marching bands. The funky lines of the winds, the massive wall of sound that is the brass, and not to mention the unforgettable sound of the drumline. To pay homage to this cultural experience, I couldn't help but be inspired to adapt a version for the concert stage. This movement will exclusively feature the winds and percussion section.
Movements III and IV are the heart of the work, encapsulating both the current state of the American societal landscape and a deep reflection and supplication of a future better suited to meet the needs of all its people.
III. Divided We Fall - In recent years, many issues regarding politics and social justice have arisen in the United States and around the world. Movement 3 is my response to this and its music takes a deep dive into the emotional abyss these and other events, such as the COVID-19 Pandemic, have bestowed on our society.
IV. HOME - Featuring the strings, HOME is a prayer, elegy, and an invocation of unity and healing for the world going forward.
V. Shout! - The finale of the work is a musical manifestation of joy, taking its musical direction from many stylistic corners as movement 1, but catapulting the energy upward through an ever-evolving pipeline of optimism. Some of the musical influences of this movement come from the emersion of joy I felt as a young child growing up in the Afro-American baptist church tradition down in Birmingham, AL. The theme of this movement and the message I'd like to leave my listeners with is the idea of moving forward and "pressing toward the mark" for better.
As the late John Lewis so beautifully put, "You are a light. You are the light. Never let anyone — any person or any force — dampen, dim or diminish your light…Release the need to hate, to harbor division, and the enticement of revenge. Release all bitterness. Hold only love, only peace in your heart, knowing that the battle of good to overcome evil is already won."