THE SAXOPHONE ENTERS THE 21st CENTURY: PERFORMANCE & COMPOSITION
Leffue, Steven Michael
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Music and its performance represent a chain of conscious and unconscious processes which begin with an innovator and ends with an auditor. Simple or very complex ideas (whether they convey emotions, imagery, mathematical formulae, contrived structures, abstractions, discontinuity, etc.) can be related to aural instances by the creator of music. These are in turn interpreted by the auditor rendering the whole affair a personal and individually novel experience which may never be wholly reproduced. In the modern era there are many questions to contemplate when interpreting and presenting music. Where do musical presentations occur? What ideas are presented? How are ideas conveyed using sounds? How can the audience interpret the information provided to them? The primary purpose of this investigation is to explore, through practice, some of the expressive possibilities available to a contemporary musician in order to understand more fully the ramifications and connections thereby associated with these methods of performance. Three stages of exploration were delivered in recital form, each taking on its own identity pertaining to modem musical practice. They were: 1). Recital: Multi-Media Presentation, The Time Then Was Now, literally. 2). Recital: Newly Composed Music 3). Recital: Improvised Music While each recital represented its own distinct perspectives on modem music, it is the commonalities between them that are perhaps most revealing. This presentation highlights diverse musical structures (temporal, rhythmic, harmonic and so forth), timbral and sonic expression, and a richness of conception and expression. All of the pieces presented were composed between 2006 and 2008. The repertoire was as follows: The Time Then Was Now, literally for alto saxophone, electronics, and multi-media Kyle Johnson (b. 1986). Knot Lilacs for solo alto saxophone, Robert Morris (b. 1943). Moons Big/Small for alto/soprano saxophone and string quartet, Heather Figi(b. 1975). Variation I for solo alto saxophone, Steven Leffue (b.1977) Schema for solo soprano saxophone, Andrew Mead (b. 1952) EnDream for any combination of instruments, Kyle Johnson The improvisational portion of the presentation was conceived between 2006 and 2008 by Steven Leffue and Ronald Stabinsky.