azure /aZHer/ adjective
1. Bright blue in color;
2. Of the tincture or color blue
I. The Grass is not Greener
Based on the traditional Bluegrass favorite Nickel Creek, this lively treatment gives the soloist and ensemble an opportunity to mimic the agility and virtuosity of a fiddle player. The tune is at times interrupted by a “dream-like strange trip” and the sounds of an oncoming train which gets a bit too close for comfort. This movement concludes like it began with the soloist performing by themselves.
II. Blue and Moving On
Dealing with heartbreak and loss is an unpleasant and difficult aspect of the human condition. Despite the gravity of any given situation, life goes, on and the coping/healing process oftentimes starts with the inner voice that says, “pull yourself together, it’s gonna be OK.”
III. Iberian Skies
On the southwestern edge of Europe lies the Iberian Peninsula, mostly occupied by Spain and Portugal. This movement draws inspiration from Flamenco guitar stylings while moving in and out of G-Minor and G-Phrygian mode. There are harmonic twists and turns associated with another Spanish genre, the paso doble. The work comes to a fiery conclusion in a codetta filled with rapid arpeggios!
The first performance of Concertino Azure occurred at the 2016 National Conference on Percussion Pedagogy on May 15, 2016, hosted by the University of Texas at San Antonio by Sherry Rubins and Dr. Graeme Francis. It featured Dr. Lisa Rogers, soloist, and the Hawaii Youth Percussion Ensemble conducted by Zachary Morita, who along with Dr. Rogers commissioned the work.
This piece is also dedicated to Alan Shinn. For several decades, Alan has been an invaluable mentor and role model for countless young student musicians, myself included, at Texas Tech University. His generosity and wisdom have truly made the world a better place! My sincere thanks go to Dr. Rogers, Mr. Morita, the Hawaiian Youth Percussion Ensemble, and Brenden Steber for making this project come to life!