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Three Letter Word is dedicated to the music and memory of the Swedish composer and pianist Esbjorn Svensson, who was tragically killed in a diving accident on 14 June 2008, aged only 44 years.
Andy Scott writes "I was fortunate enough to hear Esbjorn Svensson in concert at the IAJE Conference in New York City in January 2006, where I was also performing with duo partner, percussionist Dave Hassell. In the afternoon he practised for two hours, playing classical music, and in the evening his trio, E.S.T., produced an amazing show of virtuosity and creativity, coupling inventive compositions with daring improvisations within very individual sound worlds.
In terms of writing a piece for alto saxophone and piano I have taken two sound worlds: one is rhythmically free with virtuosic saxophone lines and an underlying tremolo based around four notes from the piano, the second is based around a two-bar piano riff over which the saxophone explores different musical possibilities. Both these ideas return in different guises before a solo piano chorale precedes a final section. Hidden in the piece is a short melodic quote from Dolores in a Shoestand from the E.S.T. album Tuesday Wonderland (2006).
The title of the piece, Three Letter Word, came about from coincidence and names or phrases that may be abbreviated: Esbjorn Svensson’s group, the commissioning body, the players that the piece was written for, and maybe most importantly given the dedicatee, the words ’rest in peace’."
Three Letter Word was commissioned by the Park Lane Group for performance by Huw Wiggin and Timothy Abel in the PLG Young Artists New Year Series in the Purcell Room, Southbank Centre, London on 14 January 2010. Andy Scott
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