Instrumentation: Clarinet, viola, and piano
Year Composed: 2021
Commissioned By: Triple Clef
This piece was commissioned by the trio Triple Clef as part of their inaugural performance. The title was suggested/requested by the musicians who commissioned the piece, who wanted it to tie into the title of the concert, “Triple Clef Presents”, and were quite fond of the ambiguity of the meaning. Is it presents as in multiple gifts, or as in to present? Nobody knows, not even me! This ambiguity had me thinking about other homonyms, and I became very interested in thinking about the present, as in past, present, and future. I felt the best way to be “in the present” musically speaking was through improvisation, and so this piece became based around the idea of the piano laying down a groove with the clarinet and viola getting short, “improvised” melodic lines to play over the groove (each melodic line is written out, but has an improvisatory nature to it). PRESENTS is in three sections; a slow and thoughtful section, a live and energetic “jam session”, and a return to the slower pace with a very introspective vibe.