Duration: Approx. 4:40
Instrumentation: Eb Clarinet, Bb Clarinet, Bass Clarinet
When writing this piece, I ran across this quote by J.K. Rowling. “Destiny is a name often given in retrospect to choices that had dramatic consequences.” This got me thinking about what brought the three members of Ironwood Trio together, and how we met. “Destiny” may have lent a hand at bringing us all together to all study clarinet at Arizona State University, where we became good friends. Although we have moved far from each other, whenever we get together it is as if no time has passed.
The concept of the piece is about three strong personalities working together in a group, each member contributing something unique, but ultimately becoming even more brilliant when working together. The piece contains contrasting sections which represent the three personalities, but also sections in which the melody is shared between instruments.
In this piece you will hear four main melodic sections. The opening section signifies the combined strength of the group. The music begins with a robust line to which all three clarinets contribute and trade off with the melody. Next, the first of the three personalities makes its appearance: a sparse staccato section intricately disperses a new melody and develops into a strong unison rhythmic section. A fast legato line, reminiscent to the opening, appears to overlap this rhythm, and the rhythm finally breaks down. The second personality then follows: a contrasting legato section, with all three contributing to a single melody and later trading off the melody again. Then finally, the third personality follows, containing angular, dance-like gestures. The piece closes with a return to the opening material, interrupted by brief interjections of previous material.
In honor of my friendship with these three, talented women, I will conclude with some cherished memories of each. I will always remember that Anne Watson’s commissioning of Character Sketches helped pay for half my wedding dress! While attending Clarinetfest in 2008, I fondly remember having dinner in Kansas City with Leslie Moreau, my mom, and my son, Aidan, during a strong thunderstorm. My favorite memory with Jana Starling was flying to Belgium together and rooming together at the 2004 Belgian Clarinet Academy.
-Theresa Martin, Feb. 2016