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HVALSANG (2020) - for jazz combo

Awards: NYYS Youth Symphony First Music Jazz Commissioned work (big band version)


Premiere: Duo Recital, University of Colorado Boulder, March 27th, 2021 (combo version)


Duration:  ca. 10 min


Program Note:


“They’re very jazzlike, actually.”

—naturalist Bernie Krause on whale calls

Hvalsang is the Norwegian word for “Whale Song.” The piece compiles a variety of sounds produced by whales—calls from humpback, orca, fin, minke, and blue whales, sperm whale clicks, and whales splashing and playing above water. I compiled these whale sounds into a composite melody seasoned with an underwater soundscape. I also use the combo to depict the enormity of a whale’s size, with pounding rhythm section and aggressive low brass. These heavier moments combined with the intimate ethereal songs creative a picture of wonder and awe in the face of these huge, beautiful creatures.

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