EVOCATIONS for alto saxophone and percussion

(2015) (6')

Program Notes:

Evocations was an excessively fun piece to work on. Silas first approached me in Spring 2015 to write a piece for his senior recital the following year. In June he and David and I got together at Western Washington University’s band room with a field recorder and a whole bunch of percussion. I hit record and told them to make some noise, taking notes on sax multiphonics and extended techniques, various percussion effects, and combinations thereof. I spent the summer writing this piece based on those notes and the inspiration that came from that session.

As the piece began to take shape, it quickly became all about the rhythmic and spectral contrapuntal interplay between the saxophone and the percussion. As usual, Evocations doesn’t follow any sort of cohesive narrative arc, but when pressed to come up with something by David and Silas, I imagined an innocent child wandering through the forest, accidentally summoning monsters as he went, and… well, as the piece continuously ramps up in intensity to its pounding conclusion, let’s just say it doesn’t end well for the child.

A huge thanks goes out to Silas and David for asking me to write this piece for them, and also for pulling off the challenging licks I wrote with ease; I half-expected them to throw the music in my face and ask me to re-write it, but they’re beasts. Cheers.