1.picc.2.1.bcl.2-184.108.40.206-perc(1):2 Latin cowbells (med.,small)/3 agogo bells (low, med., high)/2cyms (ride, splash)/tgl/wind chimes/2bongos (low, high)/maracas/claves/vibraslap/lg.whip/tamb/bell tree-pft-strings
Sunset Strip (1999) for orchestra was commissioned by P.T. and Beatrice Magee. The world premiere was given by the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Hugh Wolff, at the Ordway Music Theatre in St. Paul, Minnesota on January 7, 2000. Beginning in downtown Los Angeles, Sunset Boulevard passes through glamorous neighborhoods, such as Beverley Hills and Bel Air, and ends at the Pacific Ocean. The mile-and-a-half stretch of Sunset Boulevard passing through West Hollywood is the legendary Sunset Strip. Beginning in the 1930s, Sunset Strip was popular with the Hollywood jet set for its glamorous restaurants and nightclubs, such as Ciro’s and the Trocadero. By the 1960s, the rock club Whisky a Go-Go became a major gathering-place for the hippie counterculture on Sunset Strip. It even inspired 77 Sunset Strip, a popular television series in the sixties about private detectives, and a significant book of photography by pop artist Edward Ruscha, entitled Every Building on the Sunset Strip (1966). In my orchestral composition, I create a musical landscape where I re-imagine the various sounds and images of Sunset Strip, past and present, from sundown through the midnight hour until sunrise. My dreamlike musical journey takes us past swank restaurants, beatnik hangouts, dazzling hotels, Rat Pack nightclubs, private eye offices, rock clubs with Go-Go dancers, Mexican Restaurants, and smoky jazz lounges. In Sunset Strip, I place the listener in the driver’s seat and create music-in-motion where anything can happen; and it usually does.
- Michael Daugherty