So, I’ve been sitting on this piece for quite some time. About three years to be exact, working on it here and there amidst many other projects. I recomposed this piece four times which I don’t think of as a bad thing at all. The first three compositions just weren’t all they could be, they didn’t reach certain states of being/feeling that I am interested in creating in my music. Now the piece says and does more of what I originally intended it to do and more. It’s a piece that I am exited about, a piece I would love to hear and love to play.
Here is the program note, which describes Icons reasons for existence…
As a guitarist, I grew up listening to and playing classic rock and heavy metal during its peak years, the 1980s and 90s. The guitar icons I looked up to included Jimmy Page, Dave Mustaine, Marty Friedman, Tony Iommi, Dimebag Darrell, Randy Rhodes, and Zakk Wilde among others. These guitarists all had a great sound and a powerful mode of expression – wild solos and riffs immersed in a crunch of amplified noise, reverb and distortion. For this piece, rather than incorporating or emulating the melodic, rhythmic and harmonic material typical of this style, I took a couple of iconic guitar sounds and distilled them down to their very essence. The pluck (picked – clean and distorted), the trill, and the bow (à la Jimmy Page) formed the primary seed materials for the entire composition. Other elements of the piece extracted from rock gestalt include distortion, noise fills, and feedback. There are several underlying processes used to alter these basic materials over time, which in turn govern the overall structure of the piece.
Icons is for flute, clarinet, violin, bass and electric guitar.
You can download a pdf preview of the notes and first five pages here: Icons-preview