Remember (world premiere; BMI commission)
Length: ca. 5-7 minutes
Orchestration: 3 flutes (3rd = piccolo), 2 oboes, 2 clarinets (2nd = bass clarinet), 2 bassoons (2nd = contrabassoon), 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, percussion, piano (= celesta), harp, and strings
Memory, it seems to me, has the effect of modulating one's present reality and expected future, to the extent that what may or may not have happened in the past still exerts a hold on one's present reality. This idea that the past is present in all of life, right now, has always intrigued me. Classical music itself is haunted by the past. For better or for worse, everyone who composes music must come to terms with what has come before. This art music will undoubtedly live as long as there is still culture. For myself, this is something to celebrate and take comfort in.
This music is intended to be simple and personal. There are five small movements that are unified, to a degree, with a simple falling perfect fifth motive. I have tried to incorporate a slight exotic fairy tale element that hints at a time gone by as well as a time perhaps to come. I'm not sure that one can translate this sort of concept into music, but much of my composing life has been an attempt at just that.
On a side note, as a native of Los Angeles, and a lover of orchestral music, I have been attending concerts at Walt Disney Concert Hall, many with my two daughters and my wife. I have been overwhelmed by the experience. I didn't think it was possible that an orchestral hall could have such a profound impact on a city. As a former professional violinist, I equate it to playing a great instrument. The actual physical work of art teaches and facilitates the making of art, in this case music. It has such a clear, beautiful, tough, almost disciplined sound. It is a wonderful hall for new music as well as old. I find the hall quintessentially "L.A." I look forward to a wonderful future for music in Los Angeles. I am proud to be a native of this city!
-- David Newman