still life is life still
still life is life still is an expansion of the second movement of my Sonata deus sax machina for alto saxophone and piano. In the opening section, the solo saxophone presents quiet lyric melodic lines through the use of multiphonics and short motives – over a changing ground in the orchestra. The effect is one of stasis and suspension as the saxophone’s music weaves in and out of the orchestra’s slow moving ground: sometimes a part of the ensemble, sometimes to the fore. The middle sections present longer melodic lines over ostinati in the percussion and the strings separated by short interjections of the opening.
After a sudden and violent climax, material from the opening suddenly returns even more quietly than at the beginning – returning to the stillness in which the piece began. The effect is one of looking at a still-life and finding the “life” within – that thing which changes your perspective on the painting and somehow brings you peace.
still life is life still was commissioned by Timothy McAllister.
This work remains unpremiered and is no longer available.