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for solo trumpet and string quartet
Commissioned by Cara Pollard
Ever since I got married to my wife, Sally, I have been in and around the yacht club in Waukegan, IL. Sally grew up sailing there, and subsequently it served as a backdrop for our wedding reception and for many Wednesday night regattas. One of the boats ever-present in the races (and always seeming to do really well) was a boat named “Spitfire”. It never occurred to me as musical inspiration until only recently, when I was pondering ideas for a new work for trumpet and string quartet. It suddenly hit me that “Spit” could easily refer to the trumpet (sorry, don’t mean to gross anyone out), and “Fire” could relate to the strings (there are many musical references to “Strings on fire” or even some (not so) humorous jokes comparing the value of strings by how long they might burn…).
All that being said – this piece has nothing to do with sailing.
I merely found inspiration from the sound of the word – and its segregated meanings – and endeavored to compose a piece that carried a lot of energy and intensity throughout.
Many thanks to Cara Pollard, a Texas teacher/performer, who commissioned this work from me. Though I have written many works for trumpet, and for string quartet, separately, this was my first work to combine the two.