Listen to Music
Duration: 10 min.
I. Jest started its life as an orchestration experiment. I was listening to a work that had one of those stacked chord build-ups, you know, when each instrument comes in on a different beat, sustaining his/her pitch and creating a big swell. Well, I was listening to a piece with a lot of those in it and I got the idea to try and do it in reverse, start with the big mass and then accent each note as it exits until only a single pitch remains. Not only that, but I thought it might be fun to try and use some serialist procedures in the piece (it’s painful to admit, but we all sometimes have such urges)…
Well, that lasted all of five minutes or so before I abandoned any serialist methodology and took the opening gesture and ran with it. The programmatic elements were introduced when I restarted the piece in the fall of 2009 (I had written about twenty measures during the summer and then shelved it), and I use the book Infinite Jest as a sort of metaphorical model. I wanted this piece to have a few drastically different kinds of music (like the staticness of Marathe and Steeply talking on the mesa in New Mexico, or the frenetic energy of an ETA tennis match, or the anguish and inherent sadness of the Ennet House residents). I desired to write a piece that was able to jump quickly and unabashedly from a high-minded modernist approach to a groove and back, becoming entirely post-modern in the process. I also wanted to bring about the mental anguish of the sought-after “entertainment” with a raucous shout section, where the music doesn’t as much go in your ears as punch a hole through your skull and lounge about in your brain. But I wanted to do all this under the auspices of believable music. That is, I didn’t want you to have to read the book to understand the music. It’s not that kind of programmatic crap.
No, my friends, this is just an orchestra piece that I had a lot of fun writing, and I hope you have a lot of fun experiencing.
I. Jest won the 2010 UMKC Orchestra Competition and will be premiered by Robert Olson and the UMKC Orchestra Feb. 25th, 2011.
The future: Bobby Watson and the UMKC Big Band will premiere Rhapsody for Dean Moriarty in Kansas City, MO.
The future: Ashly Evans will premiere Birdsongs in Houston, TX.
The future: Jeux pour Jumeaux will be premiered in San Francisco, CA.
fall, 2013: Ryan Ford will perform BA(da)SS in Hartford, CT.
summer/fall, 2013: The Agosto Duo will premiere a new work for oboe and english horn.
summer, 2013: David Tayloe will premiere A Page Out of Zen.
May 26th, 2013: Joseph Abad and Marko Stuparovic will perform Icarus in West Hartford, CT.
April 22nd, 2013: Jordan Jacobson will perform fragments and memories with the HICO Orchestra in CT.
April 20th, 2013: Jordan Jacobson will perform fragments and memories with the HICO Orchestra in CT.
April 19-20, 2013: The UMKC Opera Dept. will perform portions of Songs from Behind the Curtain.
April 7th, 2013: Joseph Abad and Marko Stuparovic will premiere Icarus in West Hartford, CT.
February 21st, 2013: Not Death, but Love will be performed by the Ouroboros Quartet at a Misha-maya-gat event in Manchester, CT.
October 18th, 2012: Sheri Brown and others will perform Getz Going: A Suite for Eddie Sauter in Manchester, CT.
October 14th, 2012: Sheri Brown and others will perform Getz Going: A Suite for Eddie Sauter in Hartford, CT.
August 23rd, 2012: Sheri Brown and others will premiere Getz Going: A Suite for Eddie Sauter on a Hartford Phase Shift concert.
June 7th, 2012 7pm: A concert of the works of Ryan Jesperson will be presented at the Hartt School in West Hartford CT.
May 31st, 2012: The Invisible, Magic, Soccer Phone will be premiered in Middlefield, CT.
Copyright© 2011 Ryan Jesperson