The Cloths of Heaven
for SATB choir
for Trumpet and Wind Band
Composition Date: 2009
Commissioned: by the National Youth Band and funded by Grant MacEwan College's Centre for the Arts and Communication Research and Scholarly Activity Fund.
Premiere: May 13, 2009 with Dean McNeill soloist, Dr. Shelley Jagow conductor.
Awards: Classical Composition of the Year, 2012 Western Canadian Music Awards
The word Kalla is Norwegian for “call,” a theme that appears both in the inspiration for this piece and the structure of the work itself. Commissioned by the 2009 National Youth Band of Canada and funded through a grant from Grant MacEwan College’s Centre for the Arts Research and Scholarly Activity Fund, the work was premiered May 13, 2009 by the National Youth Band of Canada under the direction of Dr. Shelley Jagow, featuring Dean McNeill as the soloist.
For me Kalla is a “crossover” piece stylistically for the soloist. It draws upon both classical and jazz inspired techniques including traditional cadenzas with virtuosic runs and triple tonguing and contrasting sections featuring jazz plunger techniques, a unique sound not often heard orchestral music.
The trumpet culture in turn of the century (late 19th century-early 20th century) New Orleans was the inspiration for Kalla. Trumpet players would go down to the river and play a note to see how long it took the echo to come back. Soon, another trumpet would answer, higher and louder, and the game of one-upsmanship would begin. Trumpet calls and answers from across the city would sound. Kalla is based on this concept of call and response with the opening trumpet call coming physically from different places in the concert hall.