If you read my previous post yesterday about Four Ethereal Planes, the introduction to this blog series is similar:
Several years ago, I wrote a blog series documenting the compositional process for my first concerto - a piece for double bass and chamber ensemble that was commissioned by Matthew Gibson, a then-current doctoral student at Michigan State University. This helped me be able to better articulate the ideas I had for the piece during this process, along with documenting how some of the decisions made during that process ultimately helped shape the work into what it eventually became. Furthermore, it was the first time I opened up more about my own compositional process for creating new music.
This blog series for Summertime Echoes will mostly follow a similar path to the one written for the double bass concerto. There is also another ongoing blog series for my other concerto to be written this summer, a work for solo jazz piano and big band. With both of these series, I intend to delve further into the compositional process for these works and, in a way, discover how much this process has changed in the few years that passed since my last blog series. With every new commission and project, one of the most important goals I always strive to accomplish is to go a different direction in my compositional process from the last piece I've written. Both of these series will explore these approaches as well.
So, this first blog post serves as an introduction to the piece and some of my initial inspirations -
Summertime Echoes was commissioned by and is being written for Dr. Jordan VanHemert, the newly-appointed Assistant Professor of Saxophone and Jazz Studies at Hope College. Dr. VanHemert and I previously had worked together in organizing one of the Millennium Composer Initiative's first collaborative concerts, an event which included the world premiere of my first saxophone quartet. I've been fortunate since then to have been able to see how brilliant he is as a fellow musician, artist, and composer. His background and knowledge for both the classical and jazz worlds, particularly for saxophone, is outstanding in every regard. I'm thankful to have been granted this opportunity to write this new concerto for him.
With this piece, it wasn't actually any musical concepts that came to mind first. It was the title; the movement titles; and, its ultimate inspiration.
Dr. VanHemert will give the world premiere of Summertime Echoes on November 22, 2019 in Holland, Michigan with the Hope College Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Gabe Southard. We have opened a consortium for both ensembles and soloists that you can join today! Flexible pricing/tier options are available and it will be open until October 1. You can check out the link given above to join the consortium as well as to learn more details about what's being offered for the consortium exclusivity.
In the meantime, as this blog series continues, I'll be occasionally posting further excerpts (audio and visual) of the piece's progress as I continue to write it over the summer. I'm excited for my continued collaboration with Dr. VanHemert on this new concerto, and I'm excited to see where this piece will go! More to come soon.