Players: (5) violin, Bb clarinet, tenor saxophone, vibraphone, piano
(written for 2018 Cortona Sessions for New Music)
–I. Mountains (Colombia) [3:02]
–II. Fjords (Scandinavia) [3:39]
“Altitude” was written for the 2018 Cortona Sessions for New Music for violin, Bb clarinet, tenor saxophone, vibraphone, and piano. The piece is in two movements: “I. Mountains (Colombia)” and “II. Fjords (Scandinavia).” I have always found landscapes intriguing – particularly landscapes with mountains. Over the past year, I have had the opportunity to see fantastic landscapes in various parts of the globe. The two movements in this piece are intended to evoke the images and characters of mountains in Colombia and Norway.
I. Mountains (Colombia)
Movement one is inspired by the grassy mountains of Santa Rosa de Osos and Medellín, Colombia. I was on tour with the Vanderbilt Wind Symphony in Colombia in early March 2018, and it was breathtaking to wake up every morning, walk outside, and gaze out over the mountains. The festive character of this movement comes from the joyous vibe of the people of Colombia. This movement is also inspired by the music of Socrates Garcia and Nashville-based jam-band Dynamo – which I was listening to and performing at the same time as the tour of Colombia.
II. Fjords (Scandinavia)
When writing movement one, I came up with some ideas that I knew belonged with “Altitude” but didn’t necessarily fit into the first movement. As I thought about the mountains of Colombia, I was reminded of the fjords I had seen in Norway. When I think of the concept of altitude, I generally think of height or being high up. Fjords are fascinating to me because they are indeed mountains, but they are sea-level mountains. Unlike the first movement, where the fast tempo and rapid melodies show off the excitement of the Colombian mountains, this movement is intended to capture the soft nature and humble joy of the Scandinavian landscape and people.