PASIC commission

So over the holidays I solidified a commission with the Portland Percussion Group. They put in a concert proposal for PASIC 2013 and one of the pieces for that concert will be written by me.

Portland Percusision Group member shot

The theme for the concert is essentially the Pacific Northwest – the concert is going to spotlight composers that have connection to the Pacific Northwest, and the group has asked me to write a piece that has a Pacific Northwest theme, the common examples being things like rain and mountains. As i’ve started trying to come up with ideas for the piece, I find myself steering away from those two examples specifically because I feel that those are very easy targets – first, it’s easy to associate the PNW with rain and mountains and i wouldn’t be surprised if half of the repertoire on the concert has one of those two things as a theme. Second, there are a lot of pieces in general that use rain and/or mountains as thematic content, and aside from my potential use of interactive technology with Max or Live with the highly-anticipated-but-yet-to-be-released Leap Motion, I don’t feel like I’d be creating anything that hasn’t been done a million times already.

So I’m putting some thought into more atypical PNW theme to use for the piece. One idea that popped into my head was to use the theme of “grunge music” since that’s associated with Seattle, but I ultimately rejected that because i thought it would be too difficult to pull off with a percussion quartet in addition to its lack of relevance in pop music these days. We’ll see what sort of ideas pop into my head in the next week or so.

Mendel Lee

I'm a composer, musician, and music educator residing in New Orleans, LA.

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