Typical Music

2000, 30' for string trio

"Typical Music" was commissioned by the Sun Valley Center for the Arden Trio in 2000.   Up until that time most of my music had been for unusual combinations of instruments, and the opportunity to write for this archetypically "classical" combination was both exciting and intimidating to me.  My music often inhabits the space between musical traditions - classical and popular, western and eastern, and it  was a challenge to write for instruments so firmly rooted in a single, well-known musical world.  My solution was to simply forget about the boundaries, to let the music go where it needed to go, whatever the stylistic implications.  I also wanted to write something that would both challenge and satisfy the players,  to make it worth their time and effort.  The title comes from a wonderful presentation of Burmese traditional music I attended in Boston: after an evening of extremely interesting vocal music and dance-accompaniments, the well-meaning hostess announced that the final piece would have no singer and no dance, it was just a piece of  "typical music."  The piece is dedicated to Martin Bresnick, my teacher and friend, whose own piano trio serves as a lofty pinnacle of pure music.."