The West Coast Winds were honored to be asked to record for 4 composers who were winners of the 2023 composition competition. We recorded the following pieces:
Jason Rhue – The Scavenger’s Companion
A scavenger explores a junkyard of lost steampunk innovations. Curiosity peaks as the scavenger investigates a rusty pile of old gadgets and gauges, discovering a robot. The scavenger takes the robot and restores it piece by piece, each piece represented by a different instrument: clarinet for the mechanical computer, french horn for the boiler, oboe for the gearbox, bassoon for the engine, and flute for the heart which gives the robot life and character. Once receiving restoration, the robot returns companionship to his redeemer. This piece is a single movement with 6 sections: I. Discovery, II. Computer, III. Boiler, IV. Gearbox, V. Engine, VI. Heart.
Michael Fausett – Theme and Deterioration
Theme and Deterioration is a study of how a single theme mutates over time. The piece begins with a relatively chipper theme emerging from an active background. As the theme breaks down into segments and modulates, it passes through the flute, oboe, and clarinet before slowing down and becoming more lyrical. Counter-melodies and voices are introduced as the texture evolves into a fugue and climaxes with a soaring flute melody. Echoes of the initial theme and brisk texture emerge from a darker, slower sound-space as the piece culminates with a dissonant yet mystical whisper.
Jason Liang – Twilight / Daylight
From Twilight To Daylight is a musical depiction of the moods and colors of night and day—all as portrayed by wind quintet. It is a journey from the mysterious sparkle of twilight in the early evening, to the cheerless, pitch-black darkness of midnight, to the glimmers of rising sun at dawn, and finally to the vibrant, running colors of the day.
Alexander Reams – Home to the House Over Yonder
Fall 2022 was a very low point in my life. I felt very alone and that no one in my life was supporting me, and compositionally, I was a complete mess. Several times that season, I wanted to quit music; however, one time kept me from stable: the feeling of home. Being able to come home to a great family gave me new found inspiration to capture the feeling of going home after a tough journey. As the piece starts out slow, it is to emulate the yearning and excitement of going home. The piece goes into a playful skip as a way to capture nostalgia of the old times. As the piece moves into its final act, the listener breaks into a final dash towards home. This piece is the culmination of me finding a sense of home, not only in my family, but in myself. The last chord felt like me giving myself the warm hug that I was yearning for.