The fugue has been my favorite musical texture since childhood. I started collecting fugues as a doctoral student, and once played an all-fugue recital during a visit to Interlochen. For a few years, I played with the idea of unexpected fugue subjects, and kept coming back to the hornpipe tune - and so the Sailor's Song takes the first place in this collection. It is dedicated to Timothy Hester, with special thanks for so much laughter at the Black Lab.
I composed You Know as a musical portrait of a friend. She was mostly sweet, but quite unpredictable. Sometimes she'd yell at me, and then be sweet again, for no real reason.
The words "To: Peter Re: Ed" were scribbled on my handwritten sketch and submitted to Mr. Stopschinski for his review during a fugue-off we held last year. He clearly is the better contrapuntalist.
The last piece in this collection, Flintstones, was inspired by Bach's chorale-like keyboard works (such as the E Major fugue from Book II - one of my all-time favorites), and by Gesualdo's madrigals. It is most effective when played with the libretto (included below) in one's mind, or, better yet, when sung in four parts. It is dedicated to my daughters, who put up with their father singing all four parts for two days, often bursting out into uncontrollable laughter at his own absurdities. Megan, Ashley - you are my joy.
The collection as a whole is dedicated to Landon Bilyeu, dear friend and teacher, who set a living example of pure love of, and joy in, music.
Four Fugues on Unexpected Themes, Op. 1 No. 4
Meet the Flintstones
They're a page right out of history
(They are the)
There's Fred and his friend
Barney and their dinosaur Dino too
(And there's Pebbles and)
And Wilma and Betty
They drive the car with their feet,
Yes they drive the car with their feet,
With their feet,
Their feet, they're the
Wilma, Oh Wilma,
Won't you take out the cat? (Yes please take the cat, the cat)
(subject again, with voice 4:)
Bam-bam, Pebbles and Wilma his wife
(Wilma, Wilma, Wilma, Oh the..)
(Flintstones, Flintstones, Yabba-dabba-doo...)
Subject in canon. (Descant: The Flintstones, O yabba-dabba-doo.)