Spending a month of the summer in the Berkshires holds special meaning for me; as a teenager, I spent a few summers at Tanglewood just a few miles south of North Adams, a kind of musical coming-of-age that has resonated with me ever since. In writing this piece for the Bang on a Can Summer Institute, I thought a lot about what I associate with the Berkshires—the specific, expansive natural environment; the respite from the city; the excited energy of music-making. In Sideline, I tried to spin six minutes of music out of the material contained at the beginning: a falling line first heard in the piano, and long tones that move quickly from soft to loud. The piano holds everything together as a kind of concertante instrument, emerging on its own only in the middle of the piece for a lonesome solo with the saxophone, a starry landscape refracted in memory. Sideline lasts about 6 minutes.

Bang on a Can Summer Institute, Ken Thomson, conductor

instrumentation sinfonietta
premiere July 25, 2016, Bang on a Can Summer Institute, MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA
written May – June 2016
duration 6′

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