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Devil Winds

Woodwind Trio

Score sample

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Devil Winds

Devil Winds was commissioned in 2013 by Third Rail, as part of the Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings’ Young Composer in Residence Program. The commission came, and the writing began, in the middle of a freezing Michigan winter, with feet of snow outside and temperatures in the double digits below zero. I had never experienced that kind of cold before; and I began writing for reed trio (oboe, clarinet, and bassoon), an ensemble I had never tried composing for.

Yearning for warmer weather led me to think of my native California, and I reencountered the peculiar California phenomenon of the Santa Ana winds. The Santa Ana’s are strong, dry winds that occur in the fall and bring blistering hot weather. Because of their propensity to fuel the ravaging Southern California wildfires, they’re also referred to by the name “devil winds.” It was easy to connect my new fascination with the Santa Anas to my project for reed trio, made of three agile woodwinds with fiercely strong personalities. I began to envision the reed trio as a collection of three “devil winds” all their own, at turns coy and boisterous, cunning and aggressive. The resulting project ended up a musical fantasy on this idea: a seven-minute tussle for dominance among the three woodwinds, allowing each moments of delicacy and moments of brilliance in equal parts.

This edition of Devil Winds is dedicated to Ozzy Molina.

Score and Parts: $35

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