Off Beat (2018)
for concert band
Approximate duration: ca. 4 mins.
picc,fl. 1 & 2, ob., bs. 1 & 2, cl. 1 & 2,b.cl.,a.s., t.s., b.s. / 3,4,3,1 / perc (5 players): timp., glock., vibr., mar., wood block, trgl, tamb, bell plate, bass drum, cymb, shaker
Off Beat began life in 1989 as a “curtain raiser” composed for the Brooklyn-based Adam Alter Clarinet Quartet. As an inherently orchestral composer, my brain is always re-examining works in other genres for how they would sound recast for a full orchestra. Off Beat seemed particularly suited to such a re-imagining, allowing me to fully exploit the work’s exuberance-based structure through a vastly broadened color palette.
In December of 2017, friends lured me to my first Midwest Clinic, one of the world's largest congresses of wind band and educational performers, organizations, instrument manufacturers, publishers, and other proponents. Swept away by the tsunami of talent on all sides, I was inspired - I think within the first 24 hours - to make a version of Off Beat for modest-sized concert band.
This is, pure and simple, a good old fashioned concert starter, designed to perk up the ear and the spirit through a combination of orchestral panoply and kinetic virtuosity.