alto sax, cello, and piano

also: cl. (A)-vc-pno • alto fl.-vc-pno • alto fl.-bsn-pno • alto sax-bass cl.-pno • piano trio • soprano-Indian harmonium-vn-pno • alto fl.-contrabass fl.-pno


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Recording: Paul Mulligan, clarinet; Fanny Bray, cello; Mark Ryser, piano (recorded live at the Banff Centre for the Arts, January 2005)

Duration: ca. 7’45”
Composed: 2004

Purchase Groundings (for alto sax, vc, pno)

Purchase Groundings (for alto flute, bassoon, pno)

Groundings reflects the ongoing cycles of “groundedness” and “ungroundedness” that we as human beings all face throughout our lives: cycles in which grounded, balanced states evolve mysteriously into—and emerge out of—ungrounded, chaotic ones. The title also pays homage to the “ground basses” common in music of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Commissioned by the British contemporary music ensemble Ephyra, Groundings was first performed in November 2004 at the Jacqueline DuPré Music Hall in Oxford, England. The production of Groundings was funded in part by a grant from The American Music Center’s Composer Assistance Program.

Originally scored for alto saxophone, cello, and piano, Groundings has also been scored for multiple other instrumentations:
• clarinet (A), cello, piano (for Paul Mulligan, Fanny Bray and Marc Ryser, Banff, Canada)
• alto flute, bassoon, piano (commissioned by The Scarborough Trio, USA)
• alto flute, cello, piano (commissioned by The Hagen Trio, Sweden)
• alto sax, bass clarinet, piano (for The Thelema Trio, Belgium)
• piano trio (commissioned for the CANVAS concert series, the Netherlands)
• soprano, Indian harmonium, violin, piano (commissioned by Vollen United, Norway)
• alto flute, contrabass flute, piano (commissioned by Peter Sheridan, Australia)

The version of Groundings for piano trio was created for the CANVAS concert series in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The title of that concert was WATER. Jeanne Faget Stevens created a photograph in response to Groundings; this collaboration also included 9 other composer-photographer collaborations. Click here to see/hear this collaboration. This recording is from the Earth Day WATER concert on April 22, 2012, in Marina del Rey, California, USA. Musicians Rebecca Chung (violin), Alisha Bauer (cello), Lynn Hutchinson (piano). More about WATER.

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