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Sharp Edges

Clarinet Alone


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When beginning Sharp Edges, I had just learned of the death of composer Lee Hyla, who had been my teacher (at the New England Conservatory), a huge personal musical influence, and all-around wonderful human being. His writing for the clarinet – bass clarinet, especially, which was one of his favorite instruments – was particularly raw and emotive – almost primal. Naturally, then, I turned to this music for inspiration while writing Sharp Edges, which is itself a raw, jagged, but also fragile, introspective piece – a nod to both Lee’s music and the physical, dynamic, profoundly human performance style of clarinetist Christopher Grymes, who commissioned the work and premiered it at East Carolina University on January 23, 2015.


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