2 saxophones (same key)
4 minutes
Written for Michael Duke

performed by Michael Duke & Jeff Emerich

Slap Me was written at the request of Australian saxophonist Michael Duke while he was working and studying in the United States. I was pleased to have a saxophonist of Michael’s calibre playing my music so I jumped at the chance to write for him. Michael had requested something along the lines of my piece Black & Blue but of course harder and longer.

Slap Me continues my habit of jeux de mots titles. Slap tonguing is a commonly heard technique in more recent saxophone music and in this piece simulates percussive attacks similar to bongo drums. After a free and bluesy opening, the slapping begins with the two saxophones fighting with their individual cross rhythms – effective with only the most absolute precision. Each saxophone performs a ‘solo’ over the top of the other saxophone’s accompaniment figure. Reminiscent of my earlier piece Black & Blue, the solos are unrelenting with a gradual build of intensity. The two parts gradually merge together in a section of free-flowing eighth notes diminishing to a soft murmur and an apparent lack of clear pulse. This was my first exploration of writing with a disregard for the vertical relationship between the notes but focussing instead on the horizontal movement of the music. As the piece builds back up to it climax, chaotic, bending dissonance ensues until a final release at the return of the bluesy opening and a few last slaps for good measure.

Saxophone duo repertoire is relatively sparse considering the ease with which it is to form an ensemble. This is an area of the repertoire that is still unexplored and I am sure to come back to this combination again.

Michael Duke CD Music for Two Saxophones

I am very pleased to see the release of Michael Duke's CD 'Duo Sax' including my composition Slap Me for 2 saxophones. Have a listen on iTunes for some great playing! One of Australia's leading saxophonists, Michael Duke presents his debut CD on the Saxophone Classics...

Slap Me performed by Hannah Peters and Daniel Gooch (Utah Duo)

An energetic and skilful performance of my composition 'Slap Me' by Utah Duo - Hannah Peters and Daniel Gooch in a chamber recital at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFh7F_OU-n4

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