Route (2014)

Route, a piece from my series called Lines, is a solo work for alto saxophone and electronic playback. Through the use of duration line sets, this piece features layers of single line fragments that segue and weave between the “pulse” line found in the electronic playback component.

This work is loosely based on and inspired by a Emily Dickinson poem.  The short poem is titled A Route of Evanescence and in it she details how mesmerizing a hummingbird can be during flight. The poem reads:

A Route of Evanescence,
With a revolving Wheel –
A Resonance of Emerald
A Rush of Cochineal –
And every Blossom on the Bush
Adjusts it’s tumbled Head –
The Mail from Tunis – probably,
An easy Morning’s Ride –

The quick movement of the hummingbird is evanescent, a word which can be defined as “soon passing out of sight, memory, or existence; quickly fading or disappearing.”  The bird’s flapping wings are so quick that they give a viewer the illusion of spinning wheels and the vivid colors of green (emerald) and red (cochineal) are a blur of the floating creatures body.  Flower blossoms appear to follow the hummingbirds every movement and this marvelous creature is so physically breathtaking that it is as if it traveled from Tunisia.  But, while Dickinson looks on in awe, this is just ordinary day for the hummingbird.  In this composition, you might consider the saxophone to represent the hummingbird and the electronic playback to serve as the creatures surroundings.

Route was composed for and is dedicated to saxophonist George Weremchuk.