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Blues In Red

Two Tenor Saxophones

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Blues In Red

Blues in Red was written for “Nomenclature,” an interactive performance event at the University of Michigan Museum of Art. In fall of 2012, the top floor of the UMMA featured a painting by David Salle, Untitled but subtitled "Dark Red." The painting shows cool, grey objects, reminiscent of 50's film noir, on a violent red background. I was immediately drawn in by the

cool, disaffected panache of the foreground against the vibrant discomfort of the background - and even more fascinated when I came to understand that the artist's primary tool for this schizophrenic duality isn't an object or any tangible signifier, but purely the use of color. No context informs the painting's objects; the they exist ripped from their surroundings and placed on a boundless sea of alien red. With Blues in Red, I try to capture this dichotomy between the cool grey and the violent red of Untitled. A cool, noir-esque blues and a frantic, chromatic babbling trade blows; their language and gestures are informed by my background as a jazz musician, but devoid of swing, improvisation, or any other context that would paint them as "jazz" licks. I couldn't resist a few nods to my jazz background, though, and so I decided to write for a pair of musicians playing my favorite instrument: tenor saxophone.

Score and Parts: $30

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