Live Wire (2010)
Robert Spring and Jana Starling
July 24, 2010, International Clarinet Association ClarinetFest, Austin, TX, by Robert Spring and Jana Starling
The inspiration for Live Wire is actually the title itself. I thought of it when brainstorming musical ideas for another clarinet duet, Fire and Ice. When researching the title, I learned that “Live Wire” has been a 1992 film, a 1980’s teen talk show on Nickelodeon, several computer software programs, a wrestling television program in the late 1990’s, an orange-flavored soft drink, a British train operator magazine, a comic book superhero in DC Comics universe, a 2004 album title by a Christian rock band, a 1964 Martha and the Vandellas single, and a song by Mötley Crüe from their 1981 album. I was disappointed that my title was not as original as I thought; nonetheless, its long history proves its success as a flashy and succinct title. I decided the world was finally ready for my version of “Live Wire,” this time for two clarinets.
The piece has five sections which are introduced individually in the beginning and then return or are juxtaposed simultaneously in the later half of the piece. The inspirations for the music were fallen high-voltage power lines, the fast flow of electricity, alternating and direct currents, escaping sparks of electricity, and dangerous electrical shocks. Live Wire is written for my two dear friends, Bob Spring and Jana Starling, whose energy on stage is always electrifying.