Composed 1990; 2004; May 7--27, 2015
Duration: about 7 minutes 30 seconds
cover: painting by Salvador Dali
is the first movement of Popular Music of Planet
X. It is offered as a separate piece.
Giant leaps for all mankind [7:23]
1990 I wrote several works for my friend Fred Robinson who was the
composer/arranger at Warner Robins Air Force Base in Georgia. Among these was a
work for jazz band, The Popular Music of
Planet X (PMPX) in three “Books”.
The idea was the rather whimsical one that somewhere among the myriad planets
there could be a civilization where the prime incentive for the music industry
was not mercenary. Clearly such a
planet must be far far away. The Air Force didn’t seem to appreciate the
effort, and the score and parts were returned. (When you bomb with the Air
Force….you REALLY BOMB!)
summer of 2004 and I once again was writing music, and turned my attention to
the Air Force music, including the brass quintet. I made many major alterations,
added a movement, and had a brand new version. However, this work remained
unperformed. I made another version with an additional movement, and replaced
the first trumpet with clarinet; but this also sat in my files. In 2015 I
decided to try again, with the last movement of this piece much expanded and
arranged for concert band, and as the first movement of a new symphonic-scale PMPX.
am offering Polytonalmodalyodel as a
separate work, since the larger PMPX
might be too long to fit on many programs, or to submit to composition
contests. Note that this work is actually polytonal and polymodal in many
places, and the themes and motifs frequently have very large intervals, much
more than my usual tunes.
that this is my personal vision of what music intended for mass consumption
would be in a more ideal world, I’ve allowed myself to allow the influence of
jazz and blues in a rather obvious manner. However, as all of my music, this is
strictly in the classical tradition, with no improvisation, and to be treated
in the same way as other “serious” art music—even, and perhaps especially, when
it’s intended to be for fun. This piece could fit on either classical or pops
The String Bass part is intended for
an acoustic bass, as there are bowed passages. An electric bass may not be used
in its stead. Accidentals hold through the measure and not beyond. This is a C
score with the usual transpositions in the parts. If a conductor requires a
transposed score, I will provide one, with considerable grumbling.