Echoes was composed in 2017 for Allegro Orchestra. Each one of these eight short pieces explores a different type of echo. In “Off-Kilter Rag” the main melodic motive is echoed in imitative bursts featuring different sound colors, sometimes with the aid of mutes and other times changes of instrument, dynamics and register. Almost every other bar adds an “extra” beat, adding unexpected twists to the march rhythm. The second movement, “Hunt in the Hollow” alludes to a hunting call echoing from different hills and valleys. Distance is achieved by muting and call and response. “Fallen Heroes” alludes to memory as an echo of the past. The main melody wraps around itself in numerous “echoes.” “The Woodpecker’s Joke,” based on actual experience, depicts a perplexing early morning question. Is there just one woodpecker moving from the side of my house to the trees, or are there numerous woodpeckers waking me by creating echoes of themselves? “Pirate’s Hornpipe” swaggers in tipsy echo of the ocean’s pitching roll. “Proud Memories” weaves two echoing themes together, one evoking Civil War heroism, the other an echo of a Brahms Symphony melody. “Mouse Clock” plays with the idea of echoing time as a rodent-infested clock resets itself over and over. Finally, the set ends with “Spider’s Reflection,” a fugue inspired by the idea of the visual echo of a spider’s web. The zig-zag patterns are turned upside down as the imitative counterpoint unfolds.


Allegro Orchestra of Lancaster, Music in the Round, November 17, 2017, Brian Norcross conductor

© John Carbon 2015