Allen Brings

About this work:
The invitation by the musicians of Flexible Music to compose a work for their unusual combination of instruments was greeted at first (and silently) by me as an impossible task. But like writing a piano piece for only one hand, the idea of composing for a guitar, a saxophone, a piano, and percussion instruments with only one player to play them soon suggested a solution, and that was not to deny the separate and apparently incompatible attributes of these instruments but, in fact, to exploit those very qualities. Each of the four is allowed occasionally to dominate but then must give way to one or more of the others. The saxophone and the piano in particular are asked sometimes to emerge from what must seem like a silent abyss and then to rise like Goliath, sword in hand. A great deal happens in this piece, which is barely five minutes long and which is included here as a kind of encore, yet it is the quiet guitarist who never surrenders his obstinate melodic figure from beginning to end, allowing it only at the end to collapse, who finally triumphs. In one important respect Antitheses is a piece about becoming. It is never about one thing. It is about things that become transformed into other things, things for which descriptive words cannot readily be found. Experiencing this piece is similar to encountering four very different people in a public place and observing them interact in a social “module” despite their differences (or is it because of their differences?). The four very different members of Flexible Music understand this conundrum and so have performed Antitheses as well as it can be performed, that is to say, just as I imagined it to be. Antitheses is published by Mira Music Associates. Contact:
Version: for guitar, saxophone, piano and percussion
Year composed: 2005
Duration: 00:04:49
Ensemble type: Chamber or Jazz Ensemble, Without Voice:Other Combinations, 2-5 players
Instrumentation: 1 Alto Saxophone, 1 Percussion (General), 1 Piano, 1 Guitar (Classical/Acoustic)
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