Dances

Step
Slow Dance
Mosh

Ensemble:
Clarinet, Marimba, Piano
Duration: 15:00 minutes

Dances (1996) are not in the historical dance forms found in most dance suites, but are loosely based on the dances of today’s middle classes.  Most members of this class participate in stylized dances in one or more of the following guises: as an exercise, as an excuse to get close to someone else, or as a generational statement of division.

Step is a process exploration of harmonic and rhythmic patterns.  Like a step workout, it builds in intensity from repose to a central climax and then subsides again, passing through many intricate “steps” in the process and at its height challenging the musicians’ abilities.

Slow Dance is romantic in an emotional and traditionally musical sense. It focuses on melody, giving each musician melodic fragments which gradually intertwine and meld into one texture by the end of the movement.

Mosh exploits rhythms and timbral color using the instruments in percussive and extended ways, and also as a tight unit. Each instrument gets an extended virtuosic solo in this short, driving movement.

Premiere: April 1997
Scott Deal, marimba, Robyn Deal, clarinet, Rosemary Chancle, piano
American Originals series
University of Alaska
Fairbanks, Alaska
Commissioner: Fairbanks Symphony Association