OUTDOOR WARNINGS (2020) - for horn, alto sax, and fixed media
Premiere: Virtual premiere, November 2020 by Dakota Corbliss and Matt Castner
Duration: ca. 7 min
Outdoor Warnings is based on a variety of different outdoor warnings from natural to artificial sources, including elk bugles, coyote calls, throat singing, calls to prayer, bicycle bells, protests, phone calls, and nuclear warning alarms. The horn and alto saxophone interface freely and expressively with these sampled sounds, creating a dark and foreboding sonic landscape. The piece is inspired by two outdoor sounds in particular—one is the outdoor warning system alarm in Boulder, Colorado, which woke me up one spring morning at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. The second is the haunting call of an elk bull, which I had heard when recently traveling to Rocky Mountain National Park. The sounds reminded me of each other, although the function of each sound is drastically different. I thought that both sounds, when combined, encapsulated the collective fear everyone was experiencing at the outbreak.