Consider the Lilies – Now on Saxophone

December 17th, 2012

While originally being written for flute, Consider the Lilies (not so coincidentally) works very nicely for the alto saxophone as well:

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On Memorial Day, May 28, 2012, my wife’s high school flute student, Lily, premiered this work. This premier performance can be viewed below:

This was the first time I’ve ever had the opportunity of facing the challenge of writing something that needed to be played by someone new to an instrument (Lily had been studying flute for about two years). This forced me to figure out ways to create sounds that were easily produced but were still new and interesting. What made the process much easier was the fact that Lily was already able to have a strong and full sound on the lower register of the flute (quite an accomplishment for her short time studying the instrument). So I focused on bringing out the contrast between the different registers while also creating complex harmonic implications to draw as much attention as possible to every sound being made throughout each line. This process yielded the opening melody, which reminded me of wind gently blowing across a field of flowers. Between that and Lily’s name, Matthew 6:28-30 (NIV) immediatly came to mind:

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?”

So I then wrote the rest of the work based on the emotional process a person might go through when hearing Jesus’ words during a difficult time in life.

Nothing I write is ever easy and this piece is no exception. Lily did a fantastic job of rising to the occasion! Hats of to her and my wife for working so hard in pulling it off so decisively!

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