Over the past two years I've worked like a mad dog to compose and re-compose a large ensemble piece entitled Concepcion Picciotto. This work is scored for saxophone section, string trio, rhythm section and mezzo soprano voice. I began work on this piece weeks after the passing of the peace activist Concepcion Picciotto, who held a 30+ year protest in front of the White House in advocation for nuclear disarmament. The work explores lengthy passages that reflect the seasons on her vigil--the beating sun, rain, accosting and imprisonment from police. It's my hope that this work will be performed again and again honor of a truly extraordinary person.
The second half of the record is a piece for solo saxophone called Puhpohwee. Here is an artistic statement from a performance a while back:
"There is a word, 'Puhpohwee,' which in the Potawatomi Native American language translates as 'the force which causes mushrooms to push up through the Earth overnight." In some cultures language serves to illuminate the world rather than simply describe it. These languages express old things, old feelings and archaic values of the land. This solo composition is my reflection on the nature of indigenous language and its influence over our perception of the world. Through this composition I hope to give the listener a richer view of my own world, a view which might otherwise not be possible with my native tongue."
I'll be in the studio in the next few weeks finishing up work on this new record, which will be released later in 2018.