Postcards from Silver Lake 

Composed in: 2010
Instrumentation: Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Piano
Commissioned by: Gary Gray
Premiered by: Gary Gray, clarinet
Douglas Masek, alto saxophone
Neal Stulberg, piano
Publisher: C. Swigart Music

Program Notes

Postcards from Silver Lake was commissioned by clarinetist Gary Gray and premiered by him, along with saxophonist Douglas Masek and pianist Neal Stuhlberg. I have a long-standing friendship and composing relationship with Gary, having written my most-performed piece, The Hall of Mirrors, for him in 1990, as well as a half dozen others since.  All were written for performances by my chamber ensemble Pacific Serenades, so I was delighted that Gary asked me to write a piece all on his own, after he and Doug Masek had been discussing the need for music for this combination.

Every time I write a new piece, I sketch a plethora of ideas, and some of those end up on the cutting room floor—not necessarily because I don’t like them, but because they just don’t fit in.  Those that I especially like I save for future use. And so it was with the melodic material for this piece: each movement is based on material I had originally sketched for other pieces. Since these ideas all came from different times, and because they are quite diverse stylistically, they felt to me like sketches of my life, and so I imagined them as musical postcards sent from my home in the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles.