Oostende was inspired by my travels to Oostende, Belgium in 2018. While I was there, I heard these unique birds that always sang in a very distinct pattern, and if they ever harmonized with one another, it was in a Major 2nd . Their song inspired a motif for this piece. The other outdoor element I wanted to capture was the sound of the waves of the ocean. Being from Saskatchewan, the concept of tides and waves is very foreign to me. I found the sight and sound relaxing and calming. To best emulate this sound, I layered an ascending and descending arpeggio between the clarinets and alto saxophones, having each section enter in stretto creating an undulating ebb and flow.
The melody encapsulates the awe and excitement I felt at seeing a new country and experiencing new sights and sounds. At times I felt disbelief at the very fact that I was there, and, therefore, felt this overwhelming sense of joy. While I feel it is impossible to capture the beauty of nature in song, I hope that those playing and listening to this piece can catch a sense of how amazing it felt to be there.
Instrumentation: Wind Band Level 3 Duration: 4.5'
Oostende was created through a Pay What You Can Commission Consortium that was organized during the global lockdown due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Despite the uncertainty of when schools would re-open or if band would even be a possibility in the upcoming school year, these individuals still decided to support the creation of this new work. My biggest heart-felt thanks goes out to the members of this consortium.
St. Joseph High School (Shaun Bzdel), Saskatoon, SK -- world premiere June 8, 2022 Bishop Lloyd Middle School (Anya Pogorelova), Lloydminster, AB Julia MacPherson, Saskatoon, SK Anna Bekolay’s Studio (Anna Marie Bekolay), Saskatoon, SK Anonymous – donated a copy of the score to E.D. Feehan Catholic High School Ali Peters, Saskatoon, SK Jonathan Wong, Markham, ON Erica McFadden, Saskatoon, SK – donated a copy of the score to Aden Bowman Collegiate
The score will be available for purchase after the premiere