for two oboes, English horn, and 2 bassoons
commissioned by the Experiential Orchestra
The USDA uses the term “extra fancy” to label foods that pass the highest quality standards. For example, the USDA website describes extra fancy apples as “mature but not overripe, clean, fairly well formed, free from decay, internal browning, internal breakdown, soft scald, scab, freezing injury, visible water core, and broken skins.” Since I usually don’t think of apples and mixed nuts as fancy foods (let alone extra fancy foods), I’ve always found the term quite endearing and have always wanted to write a piece that’s discernibly fancy. This piece doesn’t exactly convey the USDA’s pristine connotations of the term, but instead sets some music in motion and then folds in a plethora of double-reed extended techniques to make the once-normal musical ideas sound extra fancy and, more importantly, deliciously strange.
Extra Fancy was commissioned by the James Blachly and the Experiential Orchestra for its Double Reed Madness concert on January 12, 2017 at Roulette in Brooklyn, NY. The piece was premiered by Stuart Breczinski and Christa Robinson, oboes; Jeffrey Reinhardt, English horn; and Brad Balliet and William Short, bassoons. Heartfelt thanks to these five performers for teaching me (a clarinetist) almost everything there is to learn about double reeds!
Premiere: January 12, 2016. Roulette, Brooklyn
Stuart Breczinski and Christa Robinson, oboes; Jeffrey Reinhardt, English horn; and Brad Balliet and William Short, bassoons