I just received the recording for “freehand-jot” from the recent premieres concert. Feel free to take a listen. If you are interested in learning more about the piece, read the previous blog.
I’d like to extend further commentary on this piece in this blog. The previous blog discusses the inner meaning of the piece in hindsight. This blog will go a little further into that in relation to my current research topic, which is the Totalistic movement of the 90s (and even today?). It has been a lot of fun attempting to dig into an established “ism” that has occurred recently. There has not been much written about this beyond the writings of Kyle Gann (who, in which, I am interviewing this coming week!) I first heard of this movement back in 2004 when I scheduled a discussion with Appalachian State’s percussion professor, Robert Falvo. Since then, I have been very interested in this movement, since by the very definition, is something I’ve been trying to work into my own compositions. In a nutshell, Gann has described Totalism as “having your cake and eating it too.” This is to say, composers have used all types of music, from popular forms, Eastern forms, other world musics, and modern art music through the filter of minimalism to create music that can appeal to seasoned listeners as well as the layperson. Additionally rhythm is extremely important to the Totalist composers. They feel that the postminimalist did not go far enough in their pitch and rhythmic choices.
With that definition, I do feel that this particular piece has the Totalistic aesthetic in mind. I will eventually post a long blog concerning the topic once my paper is finished. Who knows where the hell music is going these days… I think the Totalists were onto something, and we should continue to go there.
Good news about this piece. The West Circle saxophone quartet is performing this at the regional NASA convention in Chicago this coming winter. They are playing “freehand-jot” along with a piece by David Biedenbender.