Reflections on Art and Life
The Espionage concerto was partially inspired by a poem by the same title I wrote in 2008 (see below) and, in a wider sense, by my fascination with the spy thriller genre. I loved the Jason Bourne films with Matt Damon and Mission Impossible with Tom Cruise. Whenever there is a chase across Europe involving trains, old Volvos, period hotels with tall ceilings, crowded subway stations, and miniature coffee shops, I am completely sold. The concept of espionage, to me, from the romanticized and artistic standpoint, has little to do with the actual spying or betrayal. It’s all abut a state of mind; escapism, hiding the true self under a disguise, adapting to quickly-changing circumstances, improvisation, alienation, uncertainty, and overcoming fear. In a word, a wealth of emotional material for personal contemplation and art making.
The first two movements of the concerto, “Anywhere But Here” and “One Regret”, feature quickly shifting harmonies, lots of internal tension and emotional brooding. The third movement entitled “Three Moves Ahead” is a fast-paced chase with a healthy dose of flute virtuosity involving fast staccato passages, quick runs, and flutter tongue articulation. Once again, as in several of my previous compositions, I return to jazz and pop allusions which are scattered across various harmonic progressions and rhythmic patterns.