From a Dark Place
ensemble 2 separated saxophone choirs [2 sop, 4 alto, 4 tenor, 3 bari, 1 bass]
duration 6 minutes
written winter 2015
premièred March 12, 2016, North American Saxophone Alliance Biennial Conference, 18th & Boston Avenue Box 42033, Lubbock TX 79409
published by Murphy Music Press, LLC
In much of my music, I want the audience to be aware of where the sound is coming from, and I like to create stereo effects across ensembles so that it sounds as if you are listening to music in headphones that bounces from ear to ear. This particular piece carries a very dark tone, as it is trying to capture the sense of feeling trapped.
Structurally, the piece is in two equal parts, mimicing the ensemble's division. The first is solemn, slow, and introspective. It beings with the right side of the stage laying down a harmonic framework while the left side is treated as one large instrument that carries a flowing melody throughout various horns. The climax of the first section brings everyone together, and then quickly unfolds into the second section.
The second big section of this piece, marked Metronomic, creates motion with precise composite rhythms that carry across the ensemble. This provides a texture and harmonic structure which the outer sopranos play over until lastly, sound travels from the center of the stage outwards - with frequent 'rude' interjections. The music itself is trying to break free, only to collapse inward at the end.