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About The Bright and Rushing World

As I was planninge shape of The Bright and Rushing World, I knew that I wanted to write a long suite with several movements all based on a single theme that would remain ever-present and ever-recognizable. I wanted to create the most developed and integrated piece on a grand scale, so that this theme would serve as a constant thread that would guide a listener through this long work, and help to deliver him to the end of the piece with the satisfaction of a journey completed. It was the most ambitious work I set out to do, and I have to admit that it was a struggle. But, after nearly nine months of constant revisions and detours, I did finish the piece, and I had accomplished my goals.

But, I wasn’t quite finished. As I was putting the final touches on The Bright and Rushing World, I realized I had not given the piece a name. It was astonishing that I had spent so much time on the piece and still did not know what to call it. So, I began to write down a flow of ideas about the piece—mostly thoughts I had had as I was composing, or phrases that came to mind, and soon the scene of a young man leaving his home for the first time with a watchful parent standing by came to mind. The door is open wide, and he walks confidently into the world, but the parent is shocked to realize, after all these years, that he had never given his son a name. I wrote this poem, with one line for each movement of the piece, very quickly.

The Bright and Rushing World

the door is open
and you watch as he goes out
a seeker, insubmissive
into the bright and rushing world,
who, over years in your care,
you never thought to give a name.
you gasp and ask aloud
how can you live without a name?

a question so weightless it floats away
on the wind of his leaving.

The poem captured my feelings about the piece at that moment. Like with every piece I write, when it is finished, when the score is engraved, when the parts go out to the musicians and rehearsals begin, it feels like your offspring. You have put so much work into making it what it is, but you do not own it, not any more. As soon as you let it go, the piece no longer needs you, just like a child grown into an adult. I had many thoughts come and go as I composed, many of them having to do with pieces of music that have influenced me. If I think about other pieces when trying to write my own, it is like trying to grab hold of other people’s ideas. Given the impossibility of this task, I just get lost. When I looked back, I realized that best composing I did was when I just paid attention to this piece. Like the parent character in the poem, the questions of “who should I emulate?” just floated away, and the piece took on its own vitality.

As you can tell, I don’t like to write traditional program notes, where the writer tells you more or less what happens in the piece and when. I can say that each of the ten movements of this piece, that we will perform without stopping, could stand alone but are all connected by a single theme that you will hear me play on the trumpet at the very beginning of the piece. After that, you’ll hear this original idea grow, change and develop so that by the end of the piece you will have a new sense of the phrase, almost as if it were alive. I hope you will experience many of the same emotions that I did as I composed—joy, wonder, but also distraction, and yes, even boredom. The piece is long. I did that on purpose, because I believe part of an artist’s duty to his community is to challenge himself, and therefore also his audience, to see the world in new and more perceptive way. Challenging our attention span is a part of this, but I also hope that you will enjoy the journey that this piece represents as much I and the ensemble will enjoy playing for you.

-Douglas Detrick
January 17, 2013


[one_half]

The Bright and Rushing World

by Douglas Detrick, 2012
In ten movements –

  1. the door is open
  2. and you watch as he goes out
  3. a seeker, insubmissive
  4. into the bright and rushing world
  5. who, over years in your care
  6. you never thought to give a name
  7. you gasp and ask aloud
  8. how can you live without a name?
  9. a question so weightless if floats away
  10. on the wind of his leaving

[/one_half][one_half_last]Douglas Detrick, trumpet
Hashem Assadullahi, alto/soprano saxophones
Shirley Hunt, cello
Steve Vacchi, bassoon
Ryan Biesack, drums

The Bright and Rushing World: Suite for Five Musicians has been made possible with support from Chamber Music America’s 2011 New Jazz Works: Commissioning and Ensemble Development program funded through the generosity of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

Recorded at Firehouse 12 Studios, New Haven, CT
Engineered by Greg DiCrosta and Eric Tate, Mixed and Mastered by Nick Lloyd[/one_half_last]


Biographies:

Douglas Detrick is a composer and trumpet player who resides in New Rochelle, NY and was raised in Portland, Oregon. Equally at home as a performer and a composer, he is a versatile and eclectic musician establishing his reputation as an innovator in jazz, chamber music, electronic music and improvised music. AnyWhen Ensemble is his primary musical project, but his music has also been performed by the NOW Ensemble, the Meridian Arts Ensemble, and Brian McWhorter’s Beta Collide, and recently conducted the Cherry Blossom Arts Orchestra in his Downbeat Student Music Award-Winning arrangement of Duke Ellington’s Single Petal of a Rose.

Hashem Assadullahi is a saxophonist, bandleader and music educator in New York City. Hashem has performed music ranging from the big band repertoire of the swing era, to straight-ahead styles, to contemporary projects performing the works of Ornette Coleman, The Art Ensemble of Chicago, John Zorn, and Tim Berne. In 2008 Hashem formed his Quintet, featuring some of the best musicians in the Pacific North West, along with trumpet icon Ron Miles. The group has since expanded to a sextet and has recorded two albums: Strange Neighbor (8bells, 014) and Pieces (OA2 records). Hashem has lead groups featuring some the world’s greatest talents in Jazz, including Alan Ferber, Ben Monder, Mark Ferber, and Rich Perry. In addition to performing, he has held positions teaching music courses and directing numerous ensembles at various institutions including Mahidol University in Salaya, Thailand, Lane Community College, and the University of Oregon.

Shirley Edith Hunt makes herself known in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond as a rising star in the field of historical performance. Ms. Hunt performs on baroque cello and viola da gamba with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, the American Bach Soloists, Musica Pacifica, Agave Baroque, Sonoma Bach, and the cello duo Bradamante. Other recent engagements include performances with Portland Baroque Orchestra, Musica Angelica, Berkeley Opera, Archetti, Bach Collegium San Diego, and Faire Violls. In addition to numerous orchestral and chamber performances, Ms. Hunt also appears as a recitalist and concerto soloist across the United States and Europe.

University of Oregon bassoon professor Steve Vacchi enjoys performing and teaching a wide variety of repertoire from the newest experimental pieces to early music on historical bassoons. He studied at the Eastman School of Music, Yale, The Hartt School, and Louisiana State University, and has performed in 23 countries throughout Europe, the Americas, Asia, the Middle East, and the Caribbean. A member of the Oregon Ballet Theatre, Oregon Wind Quintet, Oregon Bach Festival, Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music (CA), and Music on the Hill (RI), Vacchi has also performed with many orchestras throughout the United States and abroad.

Ryan Biesack holds a Bachelors of Music from The University of Wisconsin Stevens Point, and a Masters of Music in Jazz Performance from The University of Oregon. He currently is an Instructor of Music at both Willamette University and Oregon State University. In demand as performer throughout the Pacific Northwest and Midwest, Ryan maintains an active performing career equally spanning the jazz, rock, and new music worlds. His past tours have included a year in India, several countries in western Europe, and continued collaborations with artists from around the globe.