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Winter Music (2012)

for wind quintet
duration: 7 min.
Commissioned by Quintet of the Americas
Premiered by Quintet of the Americas (March 31, 2012)


Winter Music was commissioned by Quintet of the Americas, and is approximately 6 minutes in duration.
Barber’s Summer Music proved to be the main source of inspiration, as I have always considered his woodwind quintet to be one of the best ever written for the medium. He was a true-American composer who, along with Ives, Gershwin, Copland, and Bernstein, helped define the sound of American classical music. I have always felt connected to these composers, so I wanted to write a quintet that feels American in spirit. The theme that the Quintet of the Americas proposed to me was our universe, images of galaxies, planets, and stars. With this in mind, I thought about what it would be like to be on another planet. This lead me to think about my New England roots, and how I am now living in Los Angeles and experiencing my first winter. Combining all of these thoughts, images, and experiences into one artistic idea, I have come up with Winter Music: A companion piece to the first part of Barber’s Summer Music, and my idea of life on a single planet in one of the 170 billion galaxies located millions of light-years away from earth. That is, a fantasy world somehow paralleling and reflecting my first winter in Los Angeles: magically-warm, fairy-tale like, whimsical, light, airy, and full of love.
The work is dedicated to Sarah, Carter, and my little niece.