Shivaree: Fantasy for Trumpet and Orchestra(2021)
Boosey & Hawkes (Hendon Music)
Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, CA
Thomas Hooten, trumpet / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Gustavo Dudamel
Tom Hooten, in our first conversation about what this piece might be, said he was interested in fringe modes of expression. This delighted me since I have frequently claimed that my music explores fringe states of consciousness rather than brand-name emotions. There was also the contractual language from the LA Phil that was always very consistent in referring to this new work as a “fantasy” rather than a “concerto,” which reinforced the quirky impulses that Tom and I had and led me to imagine a piece made of many small and vividly characterized miniatures, bagatelles, fragments, interludes, and/or hallucinations. The idea was to traverse a wide range of emotions and colors from light and whimsical to dark and profound, all presented as equal constituents of the human experience.
Around this time two little rituals became part of my daily life. I was getting notifications on my phone every morning with the “Word of the Day” from Dictionary.com and my 10-year-old daughter would wander into my study, sit down at the piano, and say, “Give me a word.” She would play an improvisation inspired by those words, which led me to decide to take some of the more unusual and evocative “words of the day” as points of departure for my Trumpet Fantasy. Some of the words, like the eponymous Shivaree, lend themselves to musical interpretation while others, like Exonumia, are more like zen koans. What I learned from my daughter is that the virtue is in the musical discovery that merely begins with a word, not in the accurate representation of the word’s meaning.
Shivaree is in 12 short movements played without pause.
- Shivaree: a mock serenade with kettles, pans, horns, and other noisemakers given for a newly married couple; charvari.
- Chthonian: relating to deities, spirits and other beings dwelling under the earth.
- Erumpent: bursting forth.
- Tintinnabulation: the ringing or sound of bells.
- Exonumia: items, as tokens or medals, that resemble money but are not intended to circulate as money.
- Requiescat: a wish or prayer for the repose of the dead.
- Deipnosophist: a person who is an adept conversationalist at table.
- Omphaloskepsis: the contemplation of one’s naval as part of a mystical exercise.
- Horripilation: a bristling of the hair on the skin from cold, fear, etc.; goose bumps.
- Deliquesce: to melt away
- Apopemptic (in memoriam Louis Andriessen): pertaining to leave-taking or departing; valedictory.
- Shivaree (slight return)