Stony Brook Jam

Variations for Sextet

Sydney Hodkinson

Study Score
Performing Ensemble: Small Mixed Ensemble (2-9 Instruments)
Instrumentation: Flute/Piccolo, Clarinet/Bass Clarinet, Percussion, Piano, Violin, Cello
Item Number: 144-40407S
Duration: 0:13:00
Publisher: Theodore Presser Company
Print Status: Custom Print, 4-5 days

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Quick Overview

A commission from SUNY Stony Brook for a composition for its Contemporary Chamber Players came at an unusually hectic time in my personal schedule. Desiring to write a challenging work of moderate length for these gifted young performers, I chose to revisit an 18-month-old ensemble piece (Chaconne - 1998) rather than compose anything “new.” (Berio’s comment comes to mind: “like peeling layers from an onion…”) The resultant form was a set of continuous variations — 21 in number — for a six-member combo.

Following a relaxed opening for bass clarinet and string solos, the piano and flute inject filigree fragments into the aural territory which eventually coalesce into “be-bop-seeded” soil, the whole gaining in weight and texture up to a vociferous close. Each of the performers has brief moments to “take a chorus,” offering solo commentary on the proceedings.

As the title indicates, the composition attempts to embody the ambience in which I worked as a jazz musician in my youth. While it may possess a somewhat light-hearted disposition, the technical and ensemble demands placed on the six instrumentalists are considerable.

Stony Brook Jam is roughly 13 minutes in duration and is scored for three “chamber-duos”: flute/clarinet (doubling piccolo and bass clarinet), piano/percussion, and violin/cello. The work is dedicated to the memory of the American composer Eric Stokes, a dear friend possessing immense humour, who died tragically in Spring, 1999.

The sextet was completed in September of 1999 in Aspen, Colorado, and Ormond-by-the-Sea, Florida. The first performances were given by the SUNY commissioning ensemble in April, 2000, in Stony Brook and New York City, New York.

—Sydney Hodkinson

Stony Brook Jam

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Scores & Parts

Stony Brook Jam - Score and Part(s)
Stony Brook Jam - Set of Parts

Additional Information

Composition Date 1999