Birdsong (2003)

Birdsong for alto saxophone and marimba

Josh Thomas, a great guy and great friend, plays in the United States Coast Guard Band. He was putting together a proposal for the 13th World Saxophone Congress in Minneapolis, and wanted to commission a new work. He had this psychedlic poster painted by his mother that depicted a squawking parrot rising from the bell of a saxophone, and had always wanted a piece somehow based on that image. Various pithy adages immediately came to mind: "birds of a feather flock together," "kill two birds with one stone," and "the early bird gets the worm." This was too much fun! The first movement, then, has the sax and marimba "flocking together" in an intertwined fugue. Movement two is an adapted 12-bar blues, set up in the fashion of a funeral dirge. The last movement depicts the sax as a bird who swoops down on the marimba crawling the earth below.

(Available from C. Alan Publications)