Beach Music (1995)

Composed for Nathaniel Chaitkin. Premiered by same on July 20, 1997 in "The Club" of the Banff Centre for the Arts. Written in Greenville, N.C. and Ann Arbor, MI.

Original Program Notes:

Beach Music was composed in July, 1995 for Nathaniel Chaitkin. It is comprised of five relatively short etudes which work together as a suite. While each of the movements focuses on its own technical issues, and contrast from each other in spirit, there are noticeable musical features which resurface throughout the suite as threads.

Rock and Jazz sounds mingle with Classical tradition and 20th century extended techniques in various ways. In Fish Heaven, for example, an arpeggiated texture reminiscent of portions of Bach's cello suites is underlayed by a quasi-gospel chord progression with continually expanding embellishments. In Crabs on Parade, the traditional contrapuntal technique of crab canon is suggested in a pizzicato texture (drawing heavily upon guitar technique), while evoking the rhythms of 70's Funk, at the service of some bizarre sideways march of a troop of crustaceans.

As one who was raised near the ocean in the North Carolina, I drew inspiration for Beach Music from some of the more fantastic visions of the sea which fed my own imagination during shoreline jaunts as a child. (The title may be a little misleading to anyone anticipating an evocation of true "beach music," an offshoot of Beach Boys-era "surf music" popularized, along with the dance known as "shagging," in the Southeast by groups like The Embers.)

Total duration: ca. 2:30 per etude = 13:00

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Recorded performance by Nathaniel Chaitkin.

© by the Composer. All Rights Reserved. Performance licensing: BMI.


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