Saxophone Concerto (2017)

Quinsin Nachoff — Composer and soloist

with Turning Point Ensemble
Conductor and Artistic Director — Owen Underhill

Flute, alto flute, piccolo — Brenda Fedoruk
Oboe, English horn — David Owen
Clarinet — François Houle
Bass Clarinet — AK Coope
Bassoon — Ingrid Chiang
French horn — Steve Denroche
Trumpet — Tom Shorthouse
Trombone — Jeremy Berkman
Harp — Janelle Nadeau
Piano — Rory Cowal
Percussion — Martin Fisk
Violins — Mary Sokol Brown, Domagoj Ivanovic
Viola — Tawnya Popoff
Cello — Peggy Lee
Double Bass — David Brown


Premiered at Fei and Milton Wong Experimental Theatre
SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts (Vancouver, Canada) 
Co-presented by The Turning Point Ensemble and The Vancouver International Jazz Festival, June 27 & 28, 2017

Thank you to Professor Stephen Morris at the University of Toronto Physics Department. His research area is emergent patterns in Nature. Through one of his physical experiments, cracking patterns in drying mud helped to form the foundation for several musical elements in this concerto.

In 2017 Nachoff was invited by Vancouver’s Turning Point Ensemble to compose and feature himself in a Saxophone Concerto. As inspiration he used the data from a physical experiment of University of Toronto Physicist Dr. Stephen Morris. Morris’ area of physics is Emergent Patterns in Nature, and the composition drew on Nachoff’s fascination with the way that Nature spontaneously builds ordered patterns, from the organized swirls of flowing water to the networks of cracks that appear in drying mud. Nachoff and Dr. Morris also collaborated on another piece, Bounce, from the Juno-nominated album Path of Totality with Nachoff’s ensemble Flux (featuring David Binney, Matt Mitchell, Kenny Wollesen and Nate Wood) that uses the physics of a bouncing ball as a motivic idea throughout the piece, manifesting melodically, rhythmically and harmonically. In both works Nachoff endeavoured to incorporate the science as a source for inspiration, taking artistic liberties with the source materials, rather than using it as a set of rules that must be strictly followed. The Saxophone Concerto premiered at the Vancouver Jazz Festival in June 2017, setting the stage for further collaboration.

Snippet from Rehearsal

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