Air Reel

Bass Clarinet and Fixed Media


Program Notes:

Air Reel was written for bass clarinetist Lisa Preimesberger, whose reputation as an excellent performer and ardent enthusiast for new challenging new music contributed significantly to the conception of this piece. After seeing her perform several pieces for bass clarinet and electronics in a variety of fashions, I became deeply interested in creating one for her as well, amounting to what would be my first serious piece using electronics in a major way.

In conceiving the actual piece, I was concerned with synthesizing many different long- held goals of mine. The first of these was to work in a raga-like form: the piece starts out as a slow exploration of a made-up mode, progressing into a rhythmic cycle with a repeating melody, steeply increasing in speed toward the end of the piece. The second goal was to work with American “folk” sounds: the piece’s sonic vocabulary comes primarily from old radio broadcasts of country and blues musicians, filled in with samples of Preimesberger performing several extended techniques. The third goal was to create a piece with a noticeable groove to it, including an element of dance music into the piece.