Percussion Concerto update

Posted: May 20, 2013 in Composing Insights

Ok, ok, ok.  So, I’ve settled on the subject of my percussion concerto, Sakanouye No Tamuramaro : Concerto for Percussion and Blown Instruments.  Hmnnn………this guy was Japan’s 2nd shogun, and a highly revered general; not to mention that he’s supposedly the founder of the Kiyomizu-dera temple in Kyoto.  There’s a lot of lore and legend surrounding this guy, which is another reason why I chose him as my subject; the first reason is that I love history.  There are several open-ended accounts of his life, background, etc…, that drew my attention.

Although the subject matter deals with Japanese history, the music, for double wind quintet and solo percussion, is of a different character.  However, I do intend to include moments that suggest his ethnic identity; I just don’t want to keep it in that zone.

I’ve got all of my motivic ideas laid out, and I made some changes.  Originally, I included a steel pan in the set-up; convinced that it would work.  And, it could………BUT, I’d like to have several performances of this with the same instrumentation each time.  So, I made the necessary amendments.  Plus, this is a great challenge for me!  I enjoy writing for orchestra so much, that having to condense my ideas down is what I need for composing a work such as this.

My workload now consists of me inputting the first notes from my hand-written sketches into Sibelius.  I’m also writing a piano reduction of my bass concerto, Inescapable.  I haven’t had any time to organize my drafts of Symphony No. 2, and I’m still in the middle of Symphony No. 3.  Hopefully a residency with an orchestra or a handsome commission will come along to further those efforts.  But for now,  my earthly air-sharers, I’m back to the lab.  More updates coming……..



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