Empowered

bass clarinet, marimba

2014

Premiered by Transient Canvas on September 16, 2014 in Boston, MA

About the Piece

Empowered was commissioned by Transient Canvas for their 2014-2015 concert season.  The title refers to the zipline course at Empower Leadership Sports & Adventure Center, located in my hometown, Middletown, CT.  From the company’s website, “We endeavor to EMPOWER you to take a leap of faith so that you can achieve things that may at first seem impossible.”  The activities at Empower include careening through the treetops on multiple ziplines, crossing Indiana Jones style bridges, a cargo net and a tight wire.  When I completed the course, I felt a strong sense of accomplishment, having overcome my initial anxieties.

 

In this piece, the music does not necessarily refer to any specific event at Empower, but rather the variety of emotional and psychological states one may undergo – from anxiety to exuberance to self-reflection to self-satisfaction – while completing the course, or on a broader scope, any challenge that one may encounter and overcome.  The music is energetic, often with a driving pulse, sometimes hesitant, sometimes reflective and ends with a quasi ragtime romp.  

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Video from the premiere - Amy Advocat (bass clarinet), Matt Sharrock (marimba)

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