Friday, November 14, 2008

Visit to Wampatuck Elementary School, Scituate, Massachusetts.  November 12, 2008.

On Wednesday, I spent some time with the students in the band at Wampatuck Elementary School in Scituate, Massachusetts.  My host was Kathleen Wooten, who has commissioned me to compose some music for the town's honor band.  Kathleen led the Wamptuck Band in performances of two of my pieces - The Little Factory and March of the Nightcrawlers.  The students played very well, and were very responsive to the suggestions that I made when I jumped up and ran them through The Little Factory.  

So, as I often do, I asked both groups to talk to me about what excites them in music, and were there any things in their town that might be the perfect subject materials for a "musical" profile (a program or story that the music could tell).  They had many ideas: the famous Bates lighthouse in town, the Lawson tower, the mysterious sea monster that washed up on their shores, the Italian freighter that ran aground on their beach, the ancient history of the town and its revolutionary roots, the general ideas of water and beach and wind, a student revolution (students take over!), the idea of time passing in school and clocks, a sequel to my other piece, Snakes! and much more.

I am going to think about this for two more days and then next week sit down and write the piece.  I am not sure exactly which ideas I will incorporate into the final composition, but I certainly received lots of enthusiastic input from these fun students.
Fanfare (2008). Four Horns and four trumpets.  Thomas C. Duffy, November 8, 2008.

I was asked to write a short fanfare for the dedication of the renovated Rudolph Building/ Loria Center- Yale University's Art and Architecture Buildings.  The fanfare for the dedication of the opening of the Rudolph Building in 1963 was composed by Yale faculty/composer Quincy Porter.  His fanfare was for four horns, and is about one minute long.

I wrote Fanfare, a short 1:15 piece for four horns and four trumpets.  I tried to make my fanafare reflect the aesthetic that an architect must wrestle with here at Yale - that is, a contemporary structure in a traditional setting.  My fanfare begins with the sounds of machines and building, with pieces of "shiny metal" here and there, and then a little simple melody, fugued in Baroque style, complete with tonal answers to the little six-note theme.  

You can see the whole ceremony at (click on Video: Rededication of Paul Rudolph's "art and Architecture Building."

We premiered Fanfare on Saturday, November 8, 2008.