The next Composer Spotlight for the upcoming Biennial 2020 NASA Conference at Arizona State University features the music of MCI composer Josh Trentadue. Last year, Trentadue was commissioned to write a new work for tenor saxophone and piano that would be meant to showcase a variety of the instrument's capabilities. Trentadue writes the following program notes about his new piece titled Excursions:
"Excursions is a fun and mostly light-hearted work which showcases the idiomatic, technical, and lyrical capabilities of the tenor saxophone. The piece is inspired by the variety of different landscapes that comprise the geography of the United States. Embarking on a musical road trip of sorts, each of the relatively short four movements (all of which are played without pause) conjures up imagery of a particular geographical landscape. The tenor saxophone begins predominantly within a state of introversion while the piano starts to lead this journey. However, throughout the piece, the tenor saxophone continues to emerge in a necessary and important role equal to the piano as the piano gradually transitions to a more accompanimental role.
The four movements which comprise this work are as follows:
I. Twilit Woods - a beautiful setting of a forest at night bathed in moonlight. There is a sense of magic and mystery ever present.
II. Jagged Peaks - roads that twist and turn in every direction through sharp mountains and steep canyons. Unpredictable rhythms and tall harmonies give way to lyrical passages that search for the route leading away from this chaos.
III. Verdant Meadows - a majestic view of the mountains and canyons left behind leads into a pastoral depicting the peace, tranquility, and celebration of rural fields and green pastures.
IV. Ocean Coastlines - an adventurous trip on the shores of the ocean at its stormiest times. The vibrant thrills of the sea are matched with unpredictable and dangerous hazards of weather and nature at full force.
My sincerest thanks and appreciation to Ben MacDonald and Matthew Hartson for commissioning this piece and granting me the opportunity to write this music for them."
Excursions will be available for purchase after its world premiere by Ben MacDonald (tenor saxophone) and Casey Dierlam Tse (piano) on Monday, March 9 at 10:20am in Katzin Concert Hall. You can hear a preview of the piece below.
EVENT INFO: https://www.saxophonealliance.org/conference-presenters.asp?action=view&ProposalID=1
PIECE INFO: https://www.joshtrentadue.com/excursions-2020-tenor-saxpno.html