Describe your inspiration for composing the piece.
My main inspiration for this piece was the instrumentation. I was set on doing something that wasn't standard, so I thought of some instruments that don't normally get performed together and could also fit the color of a jazz piece. The double bass was used for its heaviness and the fact it was good for a driving rhythm, and the trumpet, trombone, and bass clarinet were used for their colors that also managed to combine well when used in certain ways, while still not blending too much.
What is the overall conception for the piece (for example, is it programmatic or abstract? Is there a specific formal structure, color, or musical device you employed?)
My conception for this piece was a sound that could be associated with a dark alleyway in a big city that's somewhat dirty and greasy. I wouldn't necessarily describe the piece as programmatic, but this is simply the image I had in my head while composing it. Often times, that's how I go about my compositions; I have some kind of descriptor or color in mind that helps the piece take shape.
What are some of the goals you strove to accomplish in writing the work?
My goal was to write a cohesive piece with instruments that would confuse people when I told them what I wrote for, and have them ask, "Why those four though?" It has already happened three times with my fellow composers here in Redlands in the past week, so I think it's a job well done.
What are some of the challenges you faced in writing the work?
Considering the instrumentation is so different, it was difficult making certain things work while also not knowing for sure what the end result would be. I also have never written for trombone or trumpet until now, so I had to learn the technicalities of those instruments. The trombone was especially tricky with the slide motif, and making sure the slides were playable for the performer.
Is there anything specific about your piece that you'd like your audience to look out for?
Nope. I like letting the audience listen for themselves when it comes to my compositions.