Suite from the Sound
Instrumentation: Clarinet and String Quartet
Composition Date: 2005
Commissioned: The Festival of the Sound
Premiered: July 29, 2005 at the Charles W. Stockey centre for the Performing Arts in Parry’s Sound, Ontario.
Suite from the Sound was commissioned by the Festival of the Sound in Parry Sound, Ontario for James Campbell and the St. Lawrence String Quartet. Prior to this commission Jim and I have had great success with a work called Dreaming of the Masters I. It combines both jazz and concert music, and Jim and I wanted to continue that exploration with this work.
The work is in three movements. Movement I is subtitled Parry’s Ground and is built around a ground bass introduced by the cello. This bass line continues through most of the work with the middle section allowing both clarinet and string quartet to improvise. Movement II is subtitled Waltz for Mr. Evans and is intended to reflect the compositional style of legendary composer/arranger Gil Evans. The last movement is subtitled Flying Fingers and is just that. The piece was recorded a year after the original commission with a string quartet from Holland called Zapp!. This is a true jazz string quartet and they brought the improvisation sections to heights beyond my expectations.