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Dynamic Sequences

    1 alto saxophone, 1 piano

    Duration: ca. 14 minutes
    Composed: 2012

    Programme Note: Artists at the beginning of the twentieth century were exploring a couple main areas. The Cubists were interested in still life and portraits and fracturing these forms into simpler objects. The Futurists were interested in movement and speed. One of the founding members of the Futurists was Giacomo Balla, who spent much of his career studying the dynamics of movement and speed. He was concerned with how to create the illusion of motion and speed in his paintings.

    Dynamic Sequences is one of a pair of pieces with the work of the Futurists as its inspiration.

    The title comes from a 1913 painting by Balla entitled “Swifts: Paths of Movement + Dynamic Sequences”. The subject of the painting is the flight of swifts and is painted in the style of photographic studies in animal locomotion. The duo is approximately 12 minutes in duration and is divided into 3 movements which depict different levels of activity: Flowing, Drifting, and Surging. The first movement (Flowing) features fast, interwoven musical lines in both the piano and saxophone. It has a relentless forward energy. The second movement (Drifting), is very spacious and static, with a much freer quality. It is made up of long, lyrical lines. The third movement (Surging) is an energetic finale that is an homage to one of the most iconic pieces in the saxophone repertoire: the Albright Sonata, Dance.

    Dynamic Sequences was commissioned by Dr. Jeremy Brown for the Sixteenth World Saxophone Congress, in St Andrews Scotland. The composer acknowledges the generous financial support of The City of Ottawa.

    Premiere: First performance in St Andrews, Scotland, July 12, 2012.

    Recording(s): Recorded by Julia Nolan and Jane Hayes.

    Kelly-Marie Murphy, composer