I started writing Transcontinental while studying at the Brevard music center in 2010. Many drafts later, it was premiered by the Yale Concert Band under the direction of Thomas Duffy on December 2nd, 2011 in Yale’s Woolsey Hall. Many thanks to Mr. Duffy and the YCB for their incredible support.
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Over the past few years, I’ve found myself living a life in transit. It seems that every few weeks, I find myself traveling to a different place, shifting between studying in New Haven, visiting my home in Maryland, and performing in New York and other cities. Those places, and the sounds I heard as I traveled via train between those places launched the idea for this piece.
I was inspired by the propulsive rhythm of Amtrak’s trains, by the sound of wind rushing past the cabin, and most importantly, by the sometimes gradual, sometimes sudden changes in environment one witnesses through the window as the train rumbles on. One moment, you see suburbs, the next, a city, and the next, mountains. These real-world, sensory experiences are inexorably tied to my emotional experience of travel, and as such, I worked to weave them into the musical dialect of this piece.
For me, the imagery and emotions associated with Transcontinental begin in New Haven, and follow my journey home to Maryland, but please feel free to fill in the blanks with your journey of choice.