Axe to Grind
Subtitle: For Symphonic Winds and iOS
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II
E-flat Alto Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F
Percussion I-II-III-IV, including:
- China Cymbals
- Crash Cymbals
- Kick Drum
- Snare Drum
- Splash Cymbal
- Tambourine, Rock
None discovered thus far.
One of the things I really enjoy about live concerts is the energy of the crowd. At any rock concert or festival, you will see people dancing, smiling, screaming, and waving their hands in the air. The music moves them. They sing along to the lyrics. They stomp their feet and clap their hands. When you’re a part of that crowd, you see a side of people that is normally reserved for those closest to them. You see a part of their soul. When everyone’s guard is down, you don’t even have to try to connect with the people around you – the environment does it for you. As rock historian Robert Palmer observes in his book Rock & Roll: An Unruly History, “rock and roll listeners often seem to be behaving like entranced devotees, true believers.”
I’ve always imagined that one of the best feelings in the world for an artist is to hear an entire stadium singing back their song. But based on the concerts I’ve attended, I can attest to the fact that it’s also a pretty cool feeling to be in the audience while it’s happening.
“Concert” is probably the wrong term for a rock show because it implies a uni-directionality: the artist performs, the audience listens and watches. But in fact, a concert is an exchange more than a show. The event is a mutual co-creation between performers and fans. “My voice comes from the energy of the audience,” said Queen singer Freddie Mercury. “The better they are, the better I get.” The rapture is communicated both ways, which is why concerts are the areas for creating the incredibly strong bond between performer and fan that popular musicians are famous for.
Axe to Grind is a love letter to rock music and the rock concert experience. “Axe” is a nickname for a guitar and the phrase “grab your axe(s)” has been used by musicians and directors to mean, “pick up your instrument(s).” This piece is inspired by three different decades of rock music; the classic rock of the 1970’s (Led Zeppelin, Queen), the glam metal of the 1980’s (Bon Jovi, Van Halen), and the hard rock/heavy metal of the 1990’s (Guns N’ Roses, Metallica). The work utilizes four iOS devices and the Garage Band app.
- Program Note by composer
Commissioned by James Mobley and the Brownstown Middle School Band and N-BEAM consortium members.
None discovered thus far.
To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project
- Bowling Green (Ohio) State University University Band (Bruce Moss, conductor) – 25 November 2019
- SAES Wildcat Bands (Miller City, Ohio) (Brian White, conductor) – 2019 *Premiere Performance*
Works for Winds by This Composer
- Axe to Grind (2019)
- Catalyst (2017)
- Crystal Microphone (2007)
- Danse Moods (2002)
- Einstein on 6th Street (Saxophone quartet) (2016)
- Einstein on 6th Street (2016/2017)
- Get On Up (2019)
- Hoverboard (2016)
- Kwyjibo (2011)
- Light the Fuse (2014)
- My Consciousness (2013)
- Myth (2005)
- Red Hilled Crown (2019)
- Release the Hounds (2012)
- Second Time Is Forever, The (2015)
- Winter's First Whisper (2008)
- X (2013)