Frank McCarty—Compositions

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On The Other Hand - Scenes de Musique for Chamber Orchestra (1986) [19:52]
mixed styles style

Flute (picc.), Oboe, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet (tenor sax), Piano, 2 Percussion, Strings

Publisher:
Soundlib Press

Recording:
McCarty: On The Other Hand

Employing a wide variety of styles from abstract to classical to jazz and rock, this work includes a large, multiple-percussion setup for one or twoplayers.

Program Note:
On the Other Hand was composed in 1986, commissioned by the Winston-Salem (North Carolina) Symphony for their 20th Century chamber music series; it is subtitled "scenes de musique for chamber orchestra." Much of the material was originally created in a semi-improvisatory style for a dance/theatre/music collaboration between myself and New York choreographer and performance artist Stephanie Skura. Our piece, Climbing the Waltz, was first presented at the American Dance Festival in 1984.
The task of converting improvised music and theatre into the specific notation of this composition was not the same as the process of working from sketches towards a final product. In some instances I simply wrote out what could have happened in the improvisations; but in many cases, the original ideas wanted to go in different directions. While originally theatrical in a visual sense, the piece became an auditory drama, whose "cast of characters" now includes Bob Erickson, Varese, Charlie Ives, Haydn, Brahms, Gershwin, Spike Jones, Michael Jackson, Schonberg, and many others.
As implied by its title, this work presents contrasting opinions and suggests alternatives to certain conventions. It is, in a mathematical sense, radical, even though relatively conventional in sound. The piece is made up of five "scenes", played without pause. The first, semaphore, is a self-analyzing composition with cadenzas for the bass clarinet and oboe. Scene two, escape, deals with camouflage or disguise. This is followed by two distinctly American vaudevilles. The fourth scene presents a succession of five extended endings, each increasing in harmonic simplicity. The final and longest scene, tombeau, both recapitulates and introduces ideas; it ends with a metaphoric battle between jazz and rock which is finally reconciled both in harmony and philosophy.
I hope you will enjoy my piece.