Trickster for clarinet solo
Trickster was composed in New York City in the Summer of 1997 and completed on August 30th. The premiere took place at the Greenwich House in New York City by the composer on June 28, 1998.
The work is a set of six unmarked variations based on the opening statement (the first line of music). Each variation expands the material of the previous one. Although the first couple of variations begin with the opening arpeggio, the subsequent variations begin by expanding before the arpeggio, to the point of obscuring where the variations begin and end.
The title refers to the coyote of American Indian myths known as the Trickster, an immortal figure who, after each of his deaths, is renewed to continue his deceit. In this piece I imagined each variation as a renewal and with each renewal the opportunity to expand upon the insight gained from the previous variation.
The clarinetist on this recording (“Dissolving Images” TROY1424 on Albany Records) is Ed Gilmore.
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