performed by Barry Cockcroft
Foreign was composed after my first study trip to France in 1992-93. I was exposed to contemporary saxophone music for the first time and as is often the case, I was influenced by the music that I heard. The idea of the piece was to include some contemporary elements that I had come in contact with. I find that improvising and composition are an excellent way for me to gain insight into various types of music. The piece explores colour, mostly based on variations on the F# and as is often the case in my music, the piece is in distinct sections. This piece has no transitions from one section to the next which is something that I began to use after this. I have always enjoyed the extremes of the saxophone and the altissimo, circular breathing and dynamic contrast all seek to extend both the saxophonist and the listener.
The opening of Foreign should be barely audible creating a distant brooding atmosphere leading up the end of the first page. The final line on page 1 should be abrupt with clean silences in between these short phrases. The 2nd page is generally lyrical (if a little extreme) and can be played expressively. The rapid quarter tone section should be all slurred and be a blur of shapes with abrupt changes of dynamics.
The final coda section should recapture the opening feel but played at a faster tempo it will create a sense of urgency leading up to the end. The final chord, of course, should be loud and take the audience completely by surprise. If they do not jump out of their seats, the saxophonist is not doing their job!