• Chamber and Solo Instrumental

    The Erotic Anguish of Don Juan

    by  • March 26, 2012 • BassClarinet, cello, Chamber and Solo Instrumental, music, percussion, quartet, sample, violin

    25 pieces for violin, cello, bass clarinet, percussion, SATB chorus and vocal soloists Various selections, including Sneaky (1:30), Bullfight (4:00), Burlesque (5:00), Minotaur Cave (3:15)

    In 2002, puppeteer, author and musician Judd Palmer heard a performance of The Benevolent Predator, and was moved to exclaim “By God, you simply must write music for a...

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    Waiting for the First Crocus

    by  • March 26, 2012 • Chamber and Solo Instrumental, music, piano, violin

    for violin and piano (4:00)

          Waiting for the First Crocus

    I wrote this piece as a Christmas present for my late Mum, Mary Fenwick, in 1996, and revised the piano part in 2001.

    One of her great joys was spotting the first crocus of the year, its purple flower standing out against a thin blanket of snow.

    While writing this piece, I imagined her as a girl, staring out a window at a bleak February prairie landscape, keeping faith that the days were getting longer, and better weather was on its way.

    I think of her, and this music, as I make my annual spring pilgrimage to the banks of the Elbow River above Sandy Beach, Calgary, where crocuses are abundant.

    In the fall of 2002, Andrea Davison (piano) and Diane Lane (violin) made a lovely recording of this piece!

    Starfish

    by  • March 26, 2012 • cello, Chamber and Solo Instrumental, music, sample, Solo

    for solo cello (2:00)

          Starfish - played by Caroline Kim

    Sea Horses

    by  • March 26, 2012 • Chamber and Solo Instrumental, clarinet, sample, Solo

    for solo clarinet (1:45)

          Sea Horses - played by Krishan Power

    The Persistence of Memory: Dances for Bass Trio

    by  • March 26, 2012 • bass, Chamber and Solo Instrumental, music, trio

    Anders Dahlberg is one of my oldest friends and musical colleagues.  In 2010, he asked me to write a piece for three basses, for him to perform with two of his students at Kalamazoo College.  The premiere took place in November, 2011.

    I liked the idea of honouring our misspent youth, which included playing and writing rock music together.  After some thought, I settled on the idea of using themes from Pink Floyd’s song “Wish You Were Here” as source material.  We happily kicked musical ideas back and forth, and over time, the piece took shape.   The title was suggested by Anders, after the famous painting by Salvador Dali.

    It has to be said that “Persistence of Memory” doesn’t sound a lot like Pink Floyd. As such, I don’t think Roger Waters or David Gilmour can reasonably expect to share in the vast fortune this piece is sure to generate.

    (6:30)

          The Persistence of Memory:

    Lonely Lake Revisited

    by  • March 26, 2012 • Chamber and Solo Instrumental, harp, music, Solo

    for solo harp (1:30)

          Lonely Lake Revisited

    Fickle

    by  • March 26, 2012 • Chamber and Solo Instrumental, music, piano, Solo

    for solo piano (9:00)

          Fickle

    Compassion

    by  • March 26, 2012 • Chamber and Solo Instrumental, music, quartet, String

    for string quartet (11:30)

    In 2009, the Dalai Lama visited Calgary, and I was fortunate to hear him speak.  I was struck by his conviction that all conflicts, large and small, can be resolved peacefully when individuals approach one another from a position of compassionate understanding.

    Compassion is a musical representation of that idea.

    ...

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    The Benevolent Predator

    by  • March 26, 2012 • cello, Chamber and Solo Instrumental, music, percussion, saxophone, violin

    for electric violin, cello, alto saxophone, synthesizer, piano, percussion (7:00)

    The Benevolent Predator was hatched in 2002 especially for the Land’s End Chamber Ensemble.  He… or she… was unleashed during the group’s cabaret at Calgary’s Beat Niq Jazz and Social Club, in March of that year.  Her distinctive call was heard again in November 2006, at Art Central.

    The Predator is quick to tip her… or his… beastly hat towards progressive rock stalwarts King Crimson and Eddie Jobson (who gleefully wielded a semi-transparent electric fiddle, back in the day), and shows signs of having devoured other, more well-mannered musical luminaries.

          The Benevolent Predator