Michael Tilson Thomas

Groove Music

I'm currently working on a new piece for saxophone quartet and flute ensemble, a commission from the University of Central Florida. Indeed, you say, what a unique combination of instruments! It's an exciting challenge to create music for this interesting instrumentation.  I've chosen to expand upon a movement of my 4-movement "Nocturnes" for solo piano.

As I started to think about material for saxophone quartet and flute ensemble, I realized that the music from the fourth movement of Nocturnes would score really well for this instrumentation.  And, I have been wanting to expand on the "groove" section in the middle of the piece for some time.  In this new iteration, the opening half of the movement (the slow part) will remain relatively the same, but the fast section will be greatly expanded and the work will end fast, not returning to the slower music like the piano version.  I love driving and rhythmic music, and I'm enjoying working on this section.

The groove made me think of Michael Tilson Thomas, one of my favorite conductors to watch.  He is always so engaged in the music, always grooving, and always having so much fun.  I love it.  I hope my fast, grooving music is as much fun as MTT and Tchaikovsky in this great HD video from the San Francisco Symphony: