Dancing on a Wire (1994)

for 3 saxes, 2 synths, 2 electric guitars and electric bass

View score excerpt.

I always liked the twangy, out-of-tune sound you can get on an electric guitar by playing the same note on different strings. In Dancing on a Wire I explore this sound while subjecting it to some intrusive neighbors: snarling saxes, clanging synthesizers, and a snapping bass guitar. I’m interested in how these aggressive sounds color the guitar drone, how they force it to submerge and allow it to resurface. Though I used to play guitar in rock bands, writing a score for electric instruments was new to me. I tried to retain some of the raw energy of rock, while creating music that doesn’t sound like it.


  • Composers’ Ensemble at Princeton, 10/8/1996