On the Edge
Composed: -21st Oct. -7th Nov, 2010
Revised (+ percussion) -5th -9th Jan, 2011
(To the young ones, and learning how to groove together, and in doing so, coming to understand and experience something of the “I” that is “We”. (Thanks be to Richard Moss))
Same process, different school and age bracket, and similar problems; a group of high-school students of varied abilities, (beginners through to experienced) and the difficulty of finding repertoire that can include them all, as well as ‘speaks’ to them in a language they can all understand. So, a quick late-night sketch of some simple rhythmical ideas, and developed a few days later: -in that sense I make no great claims to this work as being something “strikingly original” or, whatever.
In the meantime, I will be happy if they simply ‘get into it’ and learn /experience something of the joy and satisfaction in performing and grooving together.1
This process of working with young people, however, is still interesting to me in that I set out to write something ‘simple’ and in keeping with the various abilities of the kids in the group, and yet what ultimately comes out is still artistically and creatively satisfying to me.2
As opposed to many other pieces I have composed for kids, the piano part for On the Edge is integral, providing as it does the groove and rhythmic drive. The piano part at Figure 19 could be dispensed with in performance, (particularly if you have enough players) and used for rehearsal only, but it does work well as a ‘colour’ and/or ‘continuo’.