Ocean tides move almost imperceptibly, but when noticed, we suddenly find out feet in water. The phrase “turn of the tide” equates the motion of the oceans’ tides to a reversal of fortune, where a losing competitor may suddenly pull ahead in a race.
In Turning Tides, there is no race between the two players; rather they work together to gradually move a current of slowly shifting sounds to sudden outbursts of sonic and rhythmic energy and back again. Turning Tides is a slowly evolving work in arch form in which the soprano saxophone and marimba are equal partners in harmony and counterpoint. Despite their differences in attack and timbre, they are called upon to blend seamlessly as a single instrument throughout the fifteen-minute duration of the work.
Turning Tides was commissioned by RoseWind Duo (Clifford Leaman, saxophone, and Scott Herring, marimba). The work was completed in Potsdam, NY on September 28, 2019.