Saturday, August 4, 2007

Variations on Americana, Op. 148


Op. 148 VARIATIONS ON AMERICANA
(August 4, 2007)
For orchestra

Variations on Americana maps denatured pitches (often with accidentals removed, or mode change) of John Philip Sousa's four-strain Stars and Stripes Forever over an abbrieviated rhythmic grid and some of the contour of Charles Ives's Variations on America. That the third strain of the dialectic has been transformed into a vague resemblance of Lowell Mason's Mary Had a Little Lamb is purely coincidental, and very welcome. The coda features distorted SASF quotes previously utilized in my setting of Tennesee Williams's Camino Real (Op. 110), for Block Four (Kilroy and the Loan Shark). The moral of the story in this case seems to be that rhythm is a far stronger identity and identifier than pitch.

The work was conceived as a movement in the collaborative eight-composer Sousa Variations for the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra.

Performance:

June 7, 2008
San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra
Old First Church



Recording:

ORBITAL AMERICAN DESERATA

Variations on Americana









(GarageBand Version)

Variations on Americana









(Cuebase Version)

Publication:

New Music
(May 2, 2008)