flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, bassoon
Commissioned by Pacific Arts Woodwind Quintet
Pacific Arts Woodwind Quintet 50th Anniversary Celebration, Faye Spanos Concert Hall, University of the Pacific, May 6, 2023 (première)
College Music Society National Conference, Miami, FL, October 26-28
I wrote Tour Bus to mark the anniversary of a quintet comprised of some of my most cherished colleagues, and as I composed the piece I had in mind the extraordinary richness of musical relationships between longtime collaborators. The best of these partnerships emerge from mutual admiration and flourish through empathetic communication, ultimately resulting in joyful and transcendent music-making. Tour Bus celebrates these bonds with music that is varied and conversational, exploring modes of dialog between individual instrumentalists and the ensemble as a unified entity. The shape of the piece resembles a creative arc that collaborative groups will find familiar: the musicians begin with strong individual personalities and an initial sense of playful restlessness, sometimes grasping for direction and struggling to cohere before eventually finding a groove. The title of the piece is a nod to the tour bus, which—in my own experience touring with ensembles—can be a tool for exploration, an occasional source of monotony and frustration, and ultimately a site of shared experiences and enduring friendships.