Describe your inspiration in composing the piece.
This work was inspired by my meeting with clarinetist Emma Selmon, a current student at Baldwin Wallace University, at the Michigan Youth Arts Festival in 2014.
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?)
The work is driven by simple rhythm, that is first heard in the low register of the piano after the work's brief introduction. The work has an ABA form with a brief, quasi-improvisatory, but fully notated, section for the clarinet before the recapitulation.
What are some of the goals you strove to accomplish in writing the work?
In this work, I hoped to familiarize myself with the blues scale and writing for the clarinet.
What are some of the challenges you faced in writing the work?
In this work, the biggest challenges I faced were: 1. The balance of making the accompaniment part interesting without making it too challenging for the pianist. 2. Deciding exactly what I wanted with clarinet articulation. 3. Deciding exactly how the work should begin and end.
Is there anything specific about your piece that you'd like your audience to look out for?
In this work, the audience should look out for the quasi-improvisatory section around 3 minutes into the work and huge Rhapsody-in-Blue-inspired glissando near the end of the work.
What do you hope your audience ultimately take away the most from hearing your work?
I hope that the audience takes away a feeling of enjoyment from the conversation created between the clarinet and piano and the jazz-inspired, syncopated rhythms.