When Su Tan asked me to consider writing something for her to play with Carol Wincenc for a
recital and recording project, I was excited and intimidated. After some thought, I settled on the idea of
making the present suite in which every short piece proceeds in some sort of strict rhythmic unison. What
could I do with this somewhat severe limitation? Could I write music that flows naturally and with some
challenge within this constraint?
The answer to these questions may lie with the opinion of performers and listeners. Nevertheless, I
try in Declamatory to act in “overture” mode, creating a fanfare from rhythmic quirks and registral contrasts.
Clean Andante uses “outdoor-sounding” phrases of varying lengths to create a pastoral abstract– imagine
“the hunt” with no guns, no killing. Rockport Preoccupation takes its energetic impetus from the Cape Ann,
Massachusetts town, offering an interpreted glimpse of this seaside destination famous for its arts scene
(painting; chamber music) and its granite quarries–strong piano chords anchor flute phrases in parallel
intervals. Tranquillo relies on simple sonorities and low flutes to create a deep calm, while Scherzino: Fives
and Threes posits a verse form made of five-note phrases in fifths and three-note phrases in thirds to spin out
an elegant call-and-response “joke” with an abrupt, crunching piano ending. As an afterthought, Working by
Subtraction concludes the suite in an effort to find out how less might become more via the careful removal
of musical elements.
All Together Now is dedicated to Su Lian Tan and Carol Wincenc with great admiration and
appreciation, and with thanks to A. Douglas Biggs for expert notational assistance in preparing the score and
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