My new orchestral work is a poem about my native area in East Texas. The textural and acoustic sound-world is born of the tangled woods and shaded creeks of the Big Thicket. My musical lines teem with voices from my family and my past: the strange ecstatic blend of gospel and honky-tonk I heard as a child in our rural Pentecostal church (where my father led the singing and I played trumpet), the high fervent singing of my backwoods Baptist grandmother and other kinfolk, as well as the songs and folklore of the Big Thicket, still resonant with old Scots-Irish roots. My primary aesthetic models are literary, in particular William Faulkner, who so admirably balanced modernism and unique sense of place. As far as form goes, I have no preconceived notions when I begin a piece. As Flannery O’Connor said, “You don’t dream up a form and put the truth in it. The truth creates its own form.” All I can say for now is that I plan to have a grand old time bringing this piece to life, and I hope to fill it with all the beauty and humor it can hold. And I thank my wife in advance for her patience.
American Composers Orchestra (ACO) is dedicated to the creation, celebration, performance, and promotion of orchestral music by American composers. With commitment to diversity, disruption and discovery, ACO produces concerts, pre-college and college education programs, and emerging composer professional development to foster a community of creators, audience, performers, collaborators, and funders.
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