Opus 898

Journeybook: in memoriam Arthur Jarvinen (2010)

for Bass Clarinet, Soprano Saxophone, Drums, Soprano Voice (or Trumpet), Violin, Cello


Duration: 9.5 min.

Dedication: for thingNY

Commission: Commissioned by thingNY

Publisher: Soundspells Productions

Performance materials available from the publisher.

Journeybook: in memoriam Arthur Jarvinen (2010) for mixed sextet was written for and is dedicated to thingNY. The work was conceived to take advantage of the special virtuosity and creativity of this terrific ensemble of composer-performers. The piece was composed in memory of Arthur Jarvinen (1956–2010), a wonderful American composer with deep ties to experimental performance traditions.

The piece is about looking at the same idea from different perspectives. All of the musical material is based on the same extended “ur-melody,” which is viewed from six perspectives.

A prologue and epilogue frame six solos: one for each member of the ensemble, accompanied by the non-soloing members. The solos are grouped into two pairs, in which complementary instruments (with similar range, but different timbre) explore essentially the same solo with variations. The first pairing is bass clarinet/cello and the second is violin/soprano saxophone. Between these two pairs appears an interlude solo for soprano voice [or trumpet].

The final solo in the work is for drums (Jarvinen was an active percussionist). At the very end of the work, the drums and the cello (the instrument of Arthur’s wife Lynn) are left alone together in quiet duet.