Gorham Nocturne

(1990), for flute, alto saxophone, horn, tuba, viola, and cello. 5 minutes.
Commissioned by David Spies.

Several sections of Gorham Nocturne are made up of of long notes which start soft and gradually get louder before fading out. This is an imitation of the sound of traffic on Gorham Street, where I lived at the time of the piece's composition. My apartment was just down the block from a stoplight, so clusters of cars would intermittently drown out the other sound of the neighborhood. Between these interruptions, the tuba player gradually gets his thoughts together, picking out fragments of a twelve-tone melody which is finally heard at the end of the piece. Meanwhile, the other instruments follow his thoughts, sometimes pointing the way to the next fragment, sometimes leading to lengthy distractions.

[score] PDF score (117 KB).