2304: Between the Alley and the Shorewood Sanitarium (2003)
for alto sax and digital audio - 15 minutes
The saxophone part of 2304: Between The Alley and the Shorewood Sanitarium is virtuosic from many standpoints: disjunct rhythms, stratospheric range, precise synchronization with the audio – even though there is often no audible pulse or rhythm from which to gage the timing and, of course, the performer must also play beautifully!
The title is the composer’s childhood address, a rather modest home, a cottage really, that “housed” a flock of Polish kids, two chain-smoking parents, cigarette smoke (trapped inside the small bungalow for the Wisconsin winters), a variety of pets and lots of laughter. It was located in a modest working-class neighborhood, complete with an alley in back for garages, block parties and games. When the house was sold, the composer’s five sisters were quite upset by this “next step” in life’s chronology. The composer is one of seven children of a Jazz Singer-mother and a Psychiatrist (which more than one critic has regarded as a perfect genetic code for modern composer). The family home was located across the street from the father’s place of business!