03 June 2014

Flashcard Program Notes

I see people walking around like trees

My wife listened to this piece, and asked me what its title was. I found that the title which I had in mind, did not in fact suit the piece as I had composed it; so I asked for her suggestion. "Something mysterious," was her reply. A friend in Columbus, Ohio supplied a nicely mysterious title.

Le tombeau de W.A.G.

William A. Goodwin was the organist, music director, electrical engineer, & guy-who-just-got-everything-done at the First Congregational Church in Woburn, Mass. I worked with Bill for a number of years as assistant choir director, composer-in-residence, and occasional guest clarinetist. Bill was a great friend, and I wrote this piece to honor his memory.

Thoreau in Concord Jail

Refusing to pay his poll taxes because of his opposition to the Mexican-American War and to slavery, Thoreau spent a night in Concord Jail. As Thoreau played the flute (I know not how well), I felt that the perfect scoring for a piece reflecting on his experience that night, would be a single unaccompanied wind instrument.

How to Tell (Chasing the Tail of Nothing)

The phrase how to tell I borrowed by lopping off half of the title of a book. My music, however, has nothing to do with the book (though it is a frightfully amusing book). I originally asked Dan if he would play bongos for a piece I was planning to write; he suggested the frame drum instead, and I've never even looked at a bongo since.

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