Wanderlust Liner Notes
From the composer, Todd Goodman: WANDERLUST [won-der-luhst] noun a strong, innate desire to rove or travel about.
Traveling has always been a very important aspect of my life. The ability to experience new, wonderful places, try new foods, and to get the chance to meet people who look, sound, act, and think differently than me has become not just a passion but a need. Wanderlust is a piece that tells the story of a group of travelers who embark on a long-awaited journey. The piece, in three main sections, starts with very fun, whimsical music which depicts the excitement and jovial beginning to most anticipated trips. A jarring chord at the opening gives one a sense of unease, although it is quickly interrupted by a short, rhythmic motif heard in the piano. This motif then travels throughout the trio, being passed quickly and often fragmented from player to player. As the piece develops and the journey continues, the trio takes time to reflect on their surroundings. After each stop, they begin a new, yet similar journey, reminiscing on the music from the opening. The piece ends with a beautiful reflection of the entire journey before finally, yet peacefully returning home.
Wanderlust was completed in June of 2017 and premiered by Eastern Standard at the 4th annual International Fellowship of Conductors, Composers, and Collaborators (IFC3) at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, on June 17, 2017.
From the composer, Robert Litton:
While watching the snow fall outside the family cabin window, a father's son imagines an epic toboggan run weaving its way down through the pine trees. In pursuit of self-assured global fame, our hero spends the day shoveling and sculpting snow and the night struggling through anxious dreams. He awakens the following morning, marches sled in hand up the back hill, and embarks on a legendary adventure.
Toboggan was completed in May of 2016 and premiered at the International Tuba-Euphonium Conference on June 1, 2016 in Knoxville, TN.
3. Winter Train
From the composer, Octavio Vazquez:
Oftentimes, when working on a project, an image or a meaning that I did not know about will come forward and reveal itself essential to the nature of the piece. It may be a historical event, a painting, a symbol, even a person. In this case, from the opening chords I seemed to be looking out of a window in a train moving steadily through a snow-covered landscape. As the music unravels, so does the image, speaking of turns in the railroad and of snow flurries, all of them symbolic of a deeper experience. It is my custom to include at the beginning of the score a number of literary quotes that may seem at first almost random or contradictory, but that are for me the best way to point to the meaning behind a piece, and that I reproduce below. I have also noticed an unintended musical reference to the opening measures of Schubert’s Winterreise (“Winter Journey”), in the steady D minor chords and the prominence of the ninth as the first non-chord tone.
“To what can this human life be likened? Perhaps to a wild swan treading on the snow; it leaves a few tracks and flies on blithely into the unknown” Tracks in the Snow, Su Tung-p’o
“Der Zug kriecht / durch unberührte Landschaft / wie ein Eindringling.” ( “The train crawls / Through untouched landscape / Like an intruder.…” ) Winterzug, Inge Hornisch
“I can taste the tin of the sky – the real tin thing. Winter dawn is the color of metal” Waking in Winter, Sylvia Plath
“Don’t think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It’s quiet, but the roots are down there riotous.” Rumi
“I like trains. I like their rhythm, and I like the freedom of being suspended between two places, all anxieties of purpose taken care of; for this moment I know where I am going.” Anna Funder
“Don’t insist on going where you think you want to go. Ask the way to the spring. Your living pieces will form a harmony.” Leave your Self, Rumi
“It’s my experience that most folk who ride trains could care less where they’re going. For them it’s the journey itself and the people they meet along the way.” The Christmas Train, David Baldacci
“Of course, in our train of thought, we would all like to think we’re on the right track, or at least the same railroad company as the right track.” Killosophy, Criss Jami
Winter Train was completed in December of 2016 and premiered by Eastern Standard at the Southwest Horn Conference in Phoenix, AZ, on January 27, 2017.
4-8. Slablóblian Folk Suite
From the composer, David Martynuik:
Located east of Lutonia, the country of Slablóblia is of no strategic importance geographically and lacks any type of natural resources that would be considered of value. In addition, the one access road has a slight inclination and given the general lack of motivation of native Slablóblianites is a disincentive for migration. All of these factors have combined to cause this little known country to remain fairly isolated. However, there is a rich (if not always logical) culture of stories, songs, and dances that has been passed down through many generations. This suite encapsulates many of the features of Slablóblian folk “art.”
4. Lûdztk- roughly translated is "Dance of the joyful mother on the first morning of school as she awaits a peaceful day unencumbered by whining children, dirty diapers and grape jelly smeared on everything." This dance is often performed barefoot on the back patio after the husband (often considered another child) leaves for work in the glop factory.
5. Blángdy blúblu is the "Dance of the Ecstatic Jolly Bean." Not to be confused with that symbol of western opulence, the Jelly bean, Jolly beans are entirely organic deriving their texture and flavor from evaporated cane sugar, organic tapioca syrup and grape juice concentrate. In addition, the use of organic coloring from black carrot juice and turmeric make them practically health food thus providing the performers of this particular dance a high level of energy if not dignity.
6. Pvlövlof sployjt - the Song of the Spurned Milk-lad is typical of the many songs of unrequited love found throughout the Slablóblian penninsula. The backstory is as follows: the milk-lad gave his heart away to the captain of the local field hockey team who left Slablóblia to follow her dreams to be an international unicycle star not giving a thought to the tender feelings of the milk-lad, or even bothering to send the occasional postcard.
7. Üdz Hedzjhowt Mystragórsky - the Mysterious Hedgehog is a celebratory dance that has been associated with Slabloblian Independence Day since 542 AD. In the oft told tale, the Hedgehog burrows through the mud floor of each hut in the village and chomps on cucumbers left out for his arrival by the peasant children, thus ensuring a limited amount of salad for the forthcoming year.
8. Hćkt - Dance of the Angry River Niblet is, according to Slablobian folklore scholar Nigel Schabelkuchen, often mistranslated as "river nymph." This is wholly incorrect as nymphs are members of the faerie genus, whereas niblets are members of the manatee family. Normally very docile, the river niblets, found in the central valley area of Slablóblia, become highly agitated when their food source of marshmallow peeps is threatened. This usually occurs during the spring season when the local peasant population begins the peep harvest in preparation for Easter.
Slablóblian Folk Suite was completed in September of 2016 and premiered by Eastern Standard at the Southwest Horn Conference in Phoenix, AZ, on January 27, 2017.
9-11. Tunes and Reels
From the composer, Keith Young:
I love arranging traditional folk songs - some of the most beautiful melodies of all time. The first movement uses the traditional English tune Oh Waly, Waly, which was made famous as The Water Is Wide, and also has been the setting for hymns as well as various small and large ensemble venues.
The middle movement includes two beautiful Irish folk tunes, St. Columba and Slane, also both used as hymn tunes and in various other venues.
I wanted to end with a traditional Celtic reel, and some research led me to Temple Hill for the final movement. As I began to arrange, I began searching for another folk tune to merge with this reel, and realized that the traditional Kingsfold tune worked perfectly. Finally, I mixed in some contemporary jazz rhythms to contrast the "old and the new" and enjoyed creating a rousing, rhythmic conclusion to the set!
Tunes and Reels was completed in October of 2016 and premiered by Eastern Standard at the Southwest Horn Conference in Phoenix, AZ, on January 27, 2017.
12. Yearning to Be...
From the composer, Matthew Murchison:
Yearning to be... was commissioned by and dedicated to Eastern Standard and was written over the course of a few weeks at the end of 2016. When discussing what kind of piece the group wanted, tubist Zach Collins mentioned that they needed something angular or ballad-like to put on their next recording project. With those two things in mind, my goal was to write a beautiful piece, at times plaintive, at others angst-ridden, but ultimately hopeful without being maudlin.
Yearning to be… was completed in November of 2016 and premiered by Eastern Standard at the Southwest Horn Conference in Phoenix, AZ, on January 27, 2017.
13. Last Dance
From the composer, Charles Ingram:
Last Dance began as a piece for two horns based upon ideas that I sketched in 1985. I later decided that the material worked better as a trio for Horn, Tuba and Piano. While reworking the material for trio, I was asked by Eastern Standard for a third piece to go with two other pieces that they had performed of mine: Lagniappe and Farewell for Lois. The result was Last Dance. The dance is moderately paced in 9/8 time and is dominated by a syncopated figure that is passed around among the three instruments.
Last Dance was completed in August of 2017 and premiered by Eastern Standard at Indiana University of Pennsylvania on September 16, 2017.