Daydreams for Solo Clarinet in B-flat was written in collaboration with Richard Cook, a Canadian clarinetist who wanted to commission a work that was accessible for amateur clarinetists to play. Using a variety of techniques and styles to give performers a chance to explore the colors of this versatile instrument, we also wanted this work to be programmable for these performers as well as professional musicians to program on recitals and use as a teaching tool for their studios.
The movements were inspired by conversations we had while collaborating on this work. Richard presented some great stories and ideas, including how he skated with Disney on Ice for four years in the early 1980’s with one of their first productions. As we began to put together ideas, a story about daydreaming of movement and music began to form, and these became intertwined across the four movements.
The first three movements tell stories of movement and music. “Walking” follows the path of a labyrinth, turning at the center and walking back in a meditative way. In “The Figure Skater” the skater gets bolder and bolder in their routine, falling and learning to get up again, and finding triumph in the journey. “The Singer” begins with a bel canto style melody, eventually becoming jazzier and sassier as they discover their unique voice. In the fourth movement “Sleeping” these various themes return as the dreamer slips off to sleep, dreaming of their day of walking, skating, singing, and what they can become.
It was such a joy to work with Richard to create a work inspired by his stories and perspective, and to create a work that allows us all to daydream.
In four movements:
I. Walking: Labyrinth
II. The Figure Skater: Spinning
III. The Singer: Bel Canto Jazz
IV. Sleeping: Dreaming of the Day