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Araby

Araby clip

Featuring Norem Brass Quintet.  Awarded Louisiana Division of the Arts, mini-grant.

Araby was specifically composed for a freshman seminar, TIDES at Tulane University called “Music and Culture of New Orleans,” taught by professors in several disciplines, including music (both jazz and “classical”), literature and dance. During the course of the academic year, the class explored the rich cultural diversity, musical styles, demographics, geography and the marketing of New Orleans culture.

The structure of the piece mimics the structure of a New Orleans jazz funeral. Araby explores the move toward and away from recognition of specific music. Since there is a very strong aural tradition with brass music, particularly of brass music in the genre of jazz, the most common method for instruction of brass instruments is through imitation.

I used the imitation of a form, the jazz funeral, as a metaphor for a parade. The overall effect is similar to the Doppler effect, where sound frequencies increase as the impending event approaches, and then gradually decrease as the parade, in this case, recedes. The piece uses the dirge “Garland of Flowers,” along with a few other quotations, as an analogy to the “real,” or present, while the beginning and the end of the piece moves towards the more “unreal” and unrecognizable.

duration: 7 minutes