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This is a saxophone quartet written in 2012. It is being read by a sax quartet in Boston MA. This quartet is the second movement of a larger four movement work about life in the city.  The first movement is "Fifth Avemue, 5:10 PM".  I hope you enjoy it; all comments enthusiastically welcome.

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Here is the score.

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A very fun piece, a little quirky. I love the harmonic and rhythmic language. I really like the interplay between the parts throughout the ensemble. Only critic would be pacing. The energy level seem to go down without any warning and, to me, that is a little awkward. 

Other than that its really good and a great performance. good job

A very astute questions.  As to the principles it was composed on, I think very visually, and that is why all of my compositions have titles.  The "One Legged Man" is a musical story about an encounter watching a man walk with only one leg (hence the time signature).  It fits within the framework of a larger piece/concept of "Happenstance Encounters" in which I paint a number of urban scenes through music. 

As for the time signature (or lack thereof), it is an atonal piece.  More specifically it "references" tonality.  I was going through a thing with Elliott Carter's music when I wrote this. It is not an attempt at trying to recreate Carter's style per se, but it is admittedly heavily influenced by him. 

The reason for the double sharps is more pedestrian:  It is a transposed score, and the version where I fixed the double sharps that Sibelius automatically put in was left in Boston. :(

That you for your reply.  I take very seriously the comments people make, and they are TRUELY valuable to me.  Thanks again.



Kristofer Emerig said:

Thanks for posting Matthew. I have to admit, even while reading the score, I was lost throughout. Feeling seven as a rhythmic grouping is already very difficult for me (I'm simple minded in that I only sense rhythms built in multiples of two and three).

 

I'm curious regarding the principles upon which this was composed. That's of course an applied musical question, rather than a philosophical one.

 

I also wondered at why the score starts without key signature, yet there are double sharps presented almost immediately. A double sharp usually denotes a sharp which is sharpened in some specific enharmonic context, as in C# major, an F double sharp might occur as a signature secondary dominant element.

Thank you for your feedback!!  You should check out Elliott Carter's Sonata for Flute, Oboe, Cello and Harpsichord.
Tyler Hughes said:

A very fun piece, a little quirky. I love the harmonic and rhythmic language. I really like the interplay between the parts throughout the ensemble. Only critic would be pacing. The energy level seem to go down without any warning and, to me, that is a little awkward. 

Other than that its really good and a great performance. good job

AH.  That is a great question!!!!

I REALLY had the think about tis when I was in school.  I wanted to be an intentional composer.  And I am.  But, to put into words how to choose note to note is difficult.  I imagine the composition as a cliff.  And each not is a toe-hold.  If I want to climb the cliff, I have to choose which toe-hold is the one I want.  Mountain climbers see a cliff, and they look for "lines".  "Which is the best line to the top?"

I look at writing music the same way.  I start out with a gesture.  That leads me to other gestures, in other parts of the ensemble, or doubled in some interesting way.  Whether or not I choose F, Ab, or C is a matter of location.  "Where am I, and what is my line to the top going to look like?"  Now, whether I call something an Ab or a G# is of more practical concern.  I think about the performer, and what they might like to see.  But, as more choosing "atonal" notes, it is a matter of making gestures, and choosing the most appropriate "toe-holds"

It is similar to storytelling, painting, or any other communicative art. 

As you know, we are all story tellers in our own way.

Thank you so much for the conversation.  This is why I like this site so much!

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