saxophone quartet and soundtrack (2019)
Daniel Kamon, soprano/alto sax; Jonathan Mo, alto sax; Téa Mottolese, tenor sax; Robert Brown, baritone sax
Recorded by Anastasia Kupstas and Téa Mottolese
Mixed by Téa Mottolese
soprano saxophone (doubling alto)
Duration: 20 minutes
Premiere: March 15, 2019
Now Hear This at the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
I began composing Tides in 2017 during an artist residency on the coast of Washington State. As I soon discovered, the tidal forces are such a huge part of life on the tiny Long Beach Peninsula, affecting both the coastal ecosystem, and the human industries there, that it seemed natural to make them the focus of this new composition. Living close to the ocean is always a clear reminder that planet Earth is indeed a living, breathing entity, and that constant change is a part of life on every level.
Each of the four movements of Tides centers around a particular aspect of the coastal landscape, and each expands upon a very specific slice of musical material. The first movement, Murmurations, is comprised almost entirely of trills set in tight lockstep, while Windswept is made from elongated, overlapping tones. Cypress is a solid, virtuosic solo for baritone sax, and Estuary weaves together short phrases into a bubbling tapestry for the full quartet. The electronic soundscape is constructed from field recordings captured during my hikes along the coast, and from recordings of the quartet playing music developed early in the composing process. These musical source materials are built into multilayered structures that move inside, around, and through the live saxophone music.
Tides is dedicated to Gary Louie and the Peabody Conservatory Saxophone Studio, in friendship and admiration. The project was supported by a 2018 Rubys Artist Grant, a program of the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation.