Composed: 1998 Duration: 4 mins.
Instrumentation: Sax Alto & Piano Level C
Exam Grade: HSC Saxophone Alto
ISMN: M-720067-75-9 Catalogue: RM317
Level: C Country: Australia
Also available for Alto sax solo with Big-band A jazz band with a violin solo, a sax quartet featuring Soprano Sax, a big band featuring violin or marimba have all performed “Hoe Down”. It does have a strong Funk element and is built around the pentatonic scale but also contains jazz and blues licks around primary triads (I, IV and V). My recorded tempo is at the upper limit but it does work very nicely at slower tempos, but not too slow. The jazz articulations at various times in the piece are hard not to swing but try to keep the even semi-quavers going and the energy up.
Contents: Holiday in Morocco, Sophie's Strut, Hill-Billy Blues, Bad Attitude, Rock Salt, Ga Ga Rag, Hi-Five, Cement Mixer, Hairy Habanera, Tango Magnifico, A Little Blues Bird, Chasin' the Bass
Contents: Rain In Spain , Coal Train, Mostly Mist , Papapap, Blues for Ma
Performed by James Nightingale
The term “variations” in this work is used somewhat loosely and does not conform to the strict connotation of the classical “Theme and Variations” form. Rather, it is used in the sense that the presented themes are decorated and varied over a repeated ground bass in much the same way as in a Chaconne. Material for this work was drawn from an earlier work Phospherics. This title came from a series of word associations:
Phosphorous: phosphorescent, luminous, green, nature. Spherics: spherical, circular, cyclical, cycles.
Versions of phosphoric Variations were originally composed for alto saxophone and piano, then later for clarinet and piano and flute and piano.
Performed by Rompduo
Contents: I. In Orbit, II. Departure Lounge, III. In Traffic
I. In Orbit
This was written wondering what it would be like to see the Earth from space. It also serves as a hymn to the technology of satellites that increasingly connect our humble human communications.
II. Departure Lounge
Most commonly, this is at an airport. When travelling alone, this can be a place to contemplate the state of one’s existence while trying to find the right angle to perch one’s hand luggage as a foot stool. But this can also be at a train station – and Sydney Central boasts a (very) modest lounge for travellers waiting for the night train to Melbourne.
III. In Traffic
Statistics bear out that lane swapping in heavy traffic to maximise time and position is mostly a waste of time and dangerous into the bargain. What’s worse is nipping into the fast lane on a slight opening, only for it to become the slow lane. My advice? Take the bike or public transport.
These pieces have been published with key signatures for ease of reading, though were not conceived as conventionally ‘tonal’ pieces.
Contents: Penguins' Meeting, An Olde Serenade, By the Shores of Lake Cadibarrawirracanna, Emus on Parade, Promenade of the Wombats, Capriccio, Folk Dance
Performed by Rompduo
As I was warming up my sax while Kath was getting hers out for a lesson, I played a few random notes which caught my ear. They were the first six notes of this piece. Later that day, after some exploration, I recorded a semi-improvised piano part and then semi-improvised the sax part. What you see on the page is a cleaned up version of what I did that day. This is the only time I've ever composed this way. Kath is a great Listener and reminded me of it's importance. You should allow your performance to build gradually through the first page and then really soar through the second page before settling down fairly quickly at the end. See if you can make it sound like you improvised it. Get together with the pianist early or play with the midi version of it from the website. It will help you understand the pace and intensity. If you add any jazz inflections, make sure they sound good and that you stay in tune. The beginning is very difficult in that regard so don't try to play any softer than you are able but do work on dropping your dynamic as far as possible and bringing it up as high as you can at the climax.