For Concert Band
Gray – /ɡrā/
verb– (of a person) become older.
adj – of a color intermediate between black and white
This piece is an exploration of these two different meanings of the word “gray.” Over the course of seven minutes, this piece metaphorically “ages,” beginning with the birth of the piece by a single clarinet, and ending with a clarinet choir all sounding a peaceful G. Along the way, the youthful energy and drive is articulated by a neoromantic opening section, while the sophistication and intellection of old age is represented by the immensely complicated and slow moving pseudo-micropolyphonic section. This piece is also a “gray” or “grayed” work in the way that it experiments with timbre. In the same way that the color gray hazes the link between white and black, this piece hazes the link between timbres of different instruments in the band.
The title is also a pun on the name of the man who asked me to write it, Graydon Beeks. This piece is dedicated to him and his great gray little city of Claremont, California. I hope this work will bring him some peace of mind and space to reflect on the blessings he has brought upon this city in all of the work he has done for Pomona College.