2 saxophones (same key)
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.
My composition Slap Me performed by Patrick Olmos at Bob Cole Conservatory of Music, California State University. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37N7CuaLNEw
Live performance in Scotland at the World Saxophone Congress of my composition Slap Me performed by Duo Kratos (USA) - Chad Tucker & Caleb Shannon. I was very pleased to hear this in person! Well done guys! http://youtu.be/SAAYkxgtbtM?t=7s
Nice playing in Illinois of my compositions Slap Me! Erik Elmgren & Victor Kononenko University of Illinois Professor - Debra Richtmeyer http://youtu.be/Cby24U-Rmws
My composition Slap Me performed by Nessyah Buder - Alto Saxophone Matt Taylor - Alto Saxophone (USA). https://youtu.be/WzJtOOXLpoI?t=48s
Another fine performance from the Utah Duo (London). Daniel Gooch and Hannah Peters performing my composition Slap Me. http://youtu.be/ShEk-NwkL7M
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...
My composition Slap Me performed by Cameron Miller & Michael Rambat at Grand Valley State University, Michigan. http://youtu.be/pZoIFed8UXE
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
A fun performance of my composition Slap Me at the Corus Recital room, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff, Wales. Another big Sax Day by Gerard McChrystal! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KA80kxB_cc8