SIZZLE

Composed: 2002
Premiere: The Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra, Timothy Russell, conductor, Kulas Hall, Cleveland, OH October 31, 2007
Duration: 5 minutes
Instrumentation: 4 fl, 2 ob,3 cl, 2 bs.cl, 2 bsn, (optional Cbsn), 2 A. sax,1 T.sax, 1 B sax, 4 hn, 2 tpt, 3 trb, 1 euph, 1 tu(opt.Cb), timp,3 perc, pno.

PROGRAM NOTES

The overlay of rhythms of different characters inspired SIZZLE. In rap music, the intriguing, somewhat mesmerizing rhythmic interplay between the motoric rhythm of the spoken voice and the punctuated, more predictable rhythm of the accompanying instruments was a beginning model for this work. SIZZLE grows and evolves from this germinal rhythmic idea.

James Gleick describes the alarming pace and frenetic life-style of the 21st century in his book, Faster. One of his many examples is the Master Clock, which is overseen by the Directorate of Time, an agency of the United States Military. It constantly consults fifty other atomic clocks to compute time within the millisecond so that computers and digital devices around the world can alter their conventional time to “exact” time. In SIZZLE, the instruments on the stage who play the rhythmic currents described above could be said to represent this part of 21st-century life – fast-paced, energized, and filled with emphatic and mesmerizing rhythms.

In this work, low brass in the balcony explore a deeper current as well – a psychic cultural connection with the earth, the ground of being – connecting with a universal flow, with deep space, with the collective unconscious – yearning for that which is infinite, measureless, vast, spiritual.