I attend performances of both the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) and Orchestra Toronto (an excellent community orchestra which performs in the Toronto Centre for the Arts in North York – well worth the drive!) regularly, and have noticed that lately, the number of younger people attending concerts has been sparse. Is this a trend that we should be worried about? I tend to think so, because it seems to me that in the long term, only keeping orchestral music “in touch” with the younger generation, will keep it viable. One of the most interesting projects I’ve been involved with musically is a collaboration with the wonderful band Dynasty Electric, out of New York City. Their sound is eclectic: electronic dance beats meets psychedelic retro-pop and then some. I first met the duo Jenny Electrik and Seth Misterka (through Indaba Music, a great social networking site for musicians. I did a full-orchestra version of the title track to their album Euphoria that included, among other things, a live performance of a “drum & bass” drum riff, performed by 5 orchestral percussionists, and the inclusion of the Trinidadian Steel Pan as an integral instrument in the orchestra. In the end, they liked it enough to actually include it on the album (Euphoria, available on iTunes – track 12 )
As part of Philip Glass’ 75th birthday year in 2012, I composed a Rhapsody for the New York Philharmonic, for a gala honouring his music, by new composers influenced by his work. The approximately 8-minute piece is scored for full orchestra and solo piano.
Nocturne is a neo-classical tone poem for full orchestra. It is scored for: strings (violin, viola, cello, contrabass), harp, tubular bells, percussion (chinese gong, snares, tin toms, whip, crash & glass cymbals), 4 timpani, celesta (or glockenspiel, if played with wrapped mallets), woodwinds (bassoons, cor anglais, oboes, clarinets, piccolo, flutes) and brass (tuba, bass trombone, trombones, french horns, trumpets) and takes approximately 8 – 9 minutes to perform.
Nocturne is structured as a series of loosely connected vignettes that take place from sunset to sunrise in the deep forest. There are 6 sections (the times in parentheses are approximate start times from the MP3 performance below):