Date of Award
Master of Music (MM)
School of Music
Concerto for ‘Smacken was written for Sam Macken, a bassoon Ph.D. candidate at the University of Colorado-Boulder. Dedicated to our time in high school as well as college together, this composition focuses on displaying both Sam’s virtuosity as a bassoonist in addition to my emerging compositional style rooted in both the jazz and classical tradition. Movement I, Ursinae, is a slow ballad that heavily draws upon neo-romantic and jazz styles. Ursinae begins with an abstraction of an F minor chord that slowly materializes into a steady pulsating beat. Counterpoint plays a heavy role in different sections of the composition in my attempts to pay homage to past Western composers. Movement II, Grizz, is more akin to jazz than classical. Conceptually, the first 16 measures act like a “head” of a jazz tune, with the melody acting as various motivic material to manipulate throughout the form. The solo cadenza of the bassoon in m. 50 represents a faux solo break that might introduce a solo section in a jazz setting. Therefore, each section of the composition serves as an “improvised solo,” combining the development of a sonata-allegro with the improvisatory nature of jazz solos. The composition employs bass drum, snare with brushes, and ride cymbal to emulate a trap set without being too heavy to cover the bassoon. The piano takes the supporting role it typically sees within a jazz ensemble setting.
Noland, Zachary Jinpui, "Concerto for' Smacken" (2023). Theses and Dissertations. 1697.