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Concerto for Youth Orchestra

Composer
Year of composition
2004
Difficulty
Difficult (Grades 7+)
Duration
20 minutes
Genre
Modern classical music
Instrumentation
Orchestra
Instrumental parts
Not available

In writing this Concerto for Youth Orchestra I wanted to create a work that would test not just the skill and musicality of the individual players but the ability of the orchestra as a whole.
1. Still running. I’m a fan of many sports but the thought of running, especially over any long distance, leaves me cold. Friends who have run marathons (and half marathons) have described the feelings they go through over the course of the event and so this movement, at a consistently fast tempo, is a tribute to those who have put themselves through this “tortuous ordeal.” Passages of struggle contrast with moments of elation but there is always a twisted determination to reach the finishing line/double bar.
2. Moore’s Law. “The observation made in 1965 by Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel, that the number of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits had doubled every year since the integrated circuit was invented. Moore predicted that this trend would continue for the foreseeable future. In subsequent years, the pace slowed down a bit, but data density has doubled approximately every 18 months, and this is the current definition of Moore's Law, which Moore himself has blessed. Most experts, including Moore himself, expect Moore's Law to hold for at least another two decades.” Since working on various media projects I’ve climbed onto a treadmill of continually developing technology. My job would be impossible without my studio full of computers and their ilk but ever-changing operating systems, updating programs, compatibility issues and general Ghosts in the Machine often make the job of creating music quite a struggle before a note is written. This movement develops from a two-note idea played by the violins at the beginning (how binary!) into a continually growing and evolving scalic motif.
3. “I got my hands…”(The Song of the Moocher). One of the first joys in life my son (nicknamed Moocher) discovered was that his extremities could be a source of amusement. So I made up a little song: I got my hands and I got my feet And I got my arms and I got my legs La da da da daa, da da da da daa etc. This final movement consists of variations based upon that simple melody. Filled with fun and excitement it also reflects the somewhat perplexing mood-swings all babies experience.

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