Fast Ride in a Short Machine is the winning selection of the University of Delaware’s 2018 Orchestral Composition Competition. The idea for this piece came to me during a University of Delaware Wind Ensemble rehearsal of Carter Pann’s ‘Hold This Boy and Listen.’ I had been trying to find a starting place for composing an orchestral piece, and when I found out that Pann’s piece was written for his nephew, my thoughts instantly went to my own nephew, Kai. Still a toddler, he epitomizes perpetual motion, and his incredibly vivacious personality inspired a piece bubbling with character and energy. The insistent driving eighth-notes, the mischievous opening solo in the bass clarinet, and the general childlike enthusiasm of the piece all depict aspects of his rambunctious persona. One of the piece’s central motives is the outline of a triad which switches from major to minor. These pitches and their abrupt rhythmic setting are a direct musicalization of the way in which Kai, while clambering hazardously all over the furniture in his house, would echo his mother and give himself some positive self-talk: ‘Oh, Kai, careful! Careful Kai!’ Similarly mirroring Kai’s standard modus operandi, the tempo increases steadily throughout the piece until all of the main motives come tripping exuberantly over one another into a frenzied finish.

Purchase Fast Ride in a Short Machine

You will receive score and parts as a PDF via email.