It’s been a while in the making, but the new solo Commissioned by Fodens Youth for 2014 prize winner Daniel Thomas is finished.
Dan won the 17-19 slow melody class at the Fodens Solo, Duet & Quartet competition back in November 2014. When I met him, he asked for something that would be fun to play, that could incorporate lots of different techniques.
I came up with an idea of a short Rhapsody based on the Chinese legend that the peoples of China are descended from Dragons. This was in no short part down to me reading a book at the time about various cultures’ myths and legends.
The piece is in 3 continuous movements. Starting in the tranquil Gardens of the far East, featuring lots of percussive sounds and a slow meandering melody. A cadenza with optional multi-phonics takes us into a second, shorter section where the intensity of the music builds with further use of multi-phonics from the soloist and heavier bass sounds to signal the coming of a great battle. The finale builds on the main theme with some virtuosic playing from soloist and band, before come to a thumping close.
It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Dan on this project, particularly as I was given so much scope to incorporate my own ideas and interests, as well as his. I wish him the best of luck in his playing career and look forward to hearing the piece played out in the near future.
A sneak peak at the solo part is available to view below.