Abjoyndon Crest

for clarinet, violin, cello, and piano - 2017, 9-10 minutes

full recording:

Performed on the Hear Now Music Festival 2018 by Chris Stoutenburough (clarinet), Alyssa Park (violin), Mike Kaufman (cello), and Mark Robson (piano). Commissioned for the Copland House Cultivate Fellowship, and premiered by Music From Copland House Ensemble, 2017.


clarinet, violin, cello, piano

Click below to see score

program note

The title Abjoyndon Crest is a combination of the words "abandon" and "join." I set out to write a fast, spirited, energetic romp of a work – something that embodies a sense of freedom and motion. Yet in all of the activity, an element gets lost very early on in the piece. Eventually this element is rejoined to the ensemble, rejuvenating the material. The "crest" in the title refers to the many upward scales in certain passages, as well as a trill motiv of mine that I associate with waves.

The gestures and themes of this piece are often relegated to one of three groups: piano, strings, and clarinet. These were arranged in patterns that provide a “cause and effect” structure to the music, with one instrument causing changes in the others. Despite the energy and sometimes chaos of the work, a sentimental feeling always exists under the surface, asserting itself when things get a bit too rowdy. The work ends with the instruments finally joining together with a sense of jolly cooperation.