Drill

2002, 11' concerto for solo bass clarinet with wind ensemble

The concerto form springs from romanticism: its default metaphor is that of the heroic individual, emerging from and exalted by his fellow man.  This is not really my thing, but I do have a strong desire to make music with my wind brethren, to do things on our instruments together.  Having taught for over a decade, I am also conscious of the complex ways in which teachers and students relate, and this piece reflects this, at least in my mind.  In war movies and sitcoms, it's always struck me that the drill sergeant works at least as hard as the recruits, running alongside, exhorting and cajoling to be sure, but never really asking them to do things he himself couldn't or wouldn't do.  Not that that necessarily has anything to do with the title of this piece, I just thought I'd mention it.  Drill is the first of a projected three-movement work, written for Fred Harris and the MIT Wind Ensemble.

Evan Ziporyn (b. 1959) is a composer/clarinetist whose work draws equally from world and classical music, the avant garde, and jazz. As a member of the Bang On A Can All-stars, he has performed at international venues across the globe, collaborated with Don Byron, Meredith Monk, Henry Threadgill, and Cecil Taylor, and co-produced and arranged Bang’s acclaimed recording of Brian Eno's "Music for Airports.” He has also recorded and toured with Paul Simon, Steve Reich, Arnold Dreyblatt, Matthew Shipp and Tan Dun.  In Boston, he is founder and director of the Gamelan Galak Tika, a Balinese music and dance troupe, for whom he has composed numerous works combining gamelan with western instruments and electronics, recorded on two volumes for New World Records.  His recent genre-defying solo CD, "This is Not A Clarinet" (Cantaloupe), was featured on “All Things Considered,” “The World,” and appeared on numerous 2001 Top Ten lists, in both classical and jazz categories. He has also written for Wu Man, the Kronos Quartet, Ethel, Nederlands Blazers, the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, Orkest de Volharding, Gamelan Sekar Jaya, Sarah Cahill, the Arden Trio, Basso Bongo, and red fish, blue fish. He has received commissions from the Rockefeller Foundation, Meet the Composer, and the New England Foundation for the Arts.  His works have been recorded on Sony Classical, Koch, New World, CRI, and New Tone.  Most recently he received the 2004 Goddard Lieberson Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.  He received his BA from Yale University and his MA and PhD from UC Berkeley, where his principle teachers were Martin Bresnick, Gerard Grisey, and John Blacking.  He is Kenan Sahin Distinguished Professor at MIT, where he is also Head of Music and Theater Arts.  His puppet opera,”Shadow Bang,” a collaboration with Balinese puppeteer I Wayan Wija, was recently released on Cantaloupe Music.  New projects include “War Chant” for the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, a concerto for p’ipa and gamelan, and music for the American Repertory Theater’s upcoming production of “Oedipus Rex.”

commissioned by the MIT Wind Ensemble, Fred Harris, director

Recording

Score