Felinicity was written at the request of Dale Sorensen on behalf of his ensemble which consisted of two tenor trombones (Sorensen and Eric Mathis), bass trombone (Bob Nicholson), and piano (Fran McBurnie). The work was premiered on July 19, 2001 at the Kirk of St. James in Charlottetown, PEI.
This work was written in one movement and includes quasi-programmatic musical references to the life of a cat. The music begins with a gentle lullaby as the cat sleeps; the trombones present a rising and falling chromatic accompaniment derived from major seconds and major/minor thirds over which the piano’s melody sings freely. The cat’s sleep is interrupted by a playful dream and the piano and bass trombone introduce a short, energetic rhythmic idea consisting of groupings of two and three eight notes preceded by an upbeat. Following this, the lullaby returns until the cat awakens and the fun begins. The bass trombone and piano reintroduce the rhythmic accompaniment presented earlier as a dream, and the two tenor trombones enjoy energetic, rhythmic melodies as they play as soloists and then join together. The playful activity continues as the musical ideas are well developed until finally the cat is exhausted and returns to sleeping.
My compositional language throughout this work is derived from both traditional and contemporary techniques in my search for new and interesting harmonic, melodic, and rhythmic combinations. Two prominent characteristics in this music are the use of additive or multi-metric rhythms, and the juxtaposition of the major seconds of A and B flat or D and E flat with their naturals. Much of the harmonic and melodic material is derived from this simple but effective contrast.
The score and parts are is available for rental or purchase from the Canadian Music Centre (416) 961-6601 or visit http://www.musiccentre.ca.
Instrumentation: Two Tenor Trombones, Bass Trombone, and Piano
Duration: 7 minutes