David Sampson (1990)
Distant Voices for brass quintet is a four movement,
sixteen minute composition written during the spring and summer of 1990.
Commissioned by the American Brass Quintet through a grant from The
Jerome Foundation, the work was premiered on May 5, 1991 at Delbarton
School/St. Marys Abbey Church at the eighth annual Hardly
Any Sampson Music Festival.
The titles of the movements are as follows:
- James Agee:
- Bobby Hackett: Jazz Cornetist
- Br. Paul Diveny: Benedictine
- 4. Ben and Mark: My Sons
These curious titles were chosen from
a long list of people who have had a profound effect on my life. We
are all the result of our continuous filtering of a myriad of influences.
The distant voices referred to in the title are simply the
voices in ones mind that guide ones thoughts and actions.
Distant Voices is meant to honor these people.
James Agee, the writer of A Death in the Family,
impressed me from my college days as truly absorbed in his life as a
creative artist. His voice challenges me to not accept the obvious or
comfortable. Bobby Hackett, an elegantly lyrical jazz cornetist, was
one of the first musicians I studied through recordings. I used to listen
to and play along with his deceptively simple improvisations. He taught
me how to play a line and make a beautiful sound. Br. Paul Diveny, a
Benedictine monk at St. Mary's Abbey in Morristown, NJ, is a special
friend who helped me survive family tragedy through religion. He introduced
me through his example to the spiritual aspects of life in a way that
profoundly deepened my awareness. My sons, Ben and Mark, are a constant
challenge and surprise. They allow me to see life as a child again and
feed my creative approach to living. This depiction captures the energy
of them playing monster.
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