This arrangement of Whirled Music (for Bb Clarinet and Harp, 2015) is dedicated to my friends John Corbett and Simone Seiler. Based in Hagen, Germany, they perform together as Duo Imaginaire. In its original scoring for alto saxophone and 5-octave marimba, the work received its world premiere performance by Translucent Duo (Bernard Lagana & David Lockeridge) at the 2013 Australasian Saxophone & Clarinet Conference, Sydney. Its US premiere took place in the same year, given by Heterodyne Duo (Nathan Nabb & Brad Meyer) at Stephen F. Austin University, Nacogdoches, Texas.
Comprising three movements (A-B-A), Whirled Music hits the ground running at a speed of around 120 crotchet beats per minute, faster still if the performers let it have its head. Fuelled by a high octane blend of semiquavers and chromaticism, the music shifts through gears while negotiating twists, turns, dips, climbs and spirals in a virtuosic display of highly energized bebop-like arabesques, fast rumba-like grooves and glimpses of clear, delicate lyricism.
During the second movement, gently pulsing harmonies and swirling flourishes from the harp serve as a backdrop to the clarinet’s bravura tale which takes us deep into tense, cadenza-like territory.
The third movement comes to life in musical ‘fits and starts’ before sending us whirling back in time via a shortcut through Movement 1, then on to a brief coda and a race to the finish line.
I warmly thank John and Simone for their friendship and for requesting this arrangement of “Whirled Music”. – M.O.