Doug Masek, alto saxophone; David Speltz, cello; Louise Thomas, piano
When Doug Masek, saxophonist with both the Hollywood Bowl and Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestras, commissioned me to compose a piece, we decided on the unusual and beautiful combination of alto saxophone, cello, and piano. As reflected by its title, Irrational Exuberance was a reaction to the unfathomable re-election of a certain U.S. president in 2004. In an attempt to remain, if not optimistic, hopeful, I purposefully chose to compose a sunny piece. This piece, like most of my music, features lots of unusual and alternating meters. My high school band director was Dave Brubeck’s brother Henry, and I idolized Dave’s colleague and alto saxophonist Paul Desmond. As a result, odd and shifting meters have always been an important aspect of my style.
Commissioned by UCLA Professor of Saxophone Doug Masek