For saxophone and fixed electronics
World premiere performance - "Drew Whiting: Saxophones"
September 22, 2017
UW Oshkosh Music Hall
Prior to writing this piece, I experienced a series of dreams that were foggy and undefined, leaving me with a feeling that was difficult to pinpoint. The dreams prompted me to search for a word to best define this lingering emotion. In the process, I discovered the intriguing Brazilian Portuguese word, saudade, which translates as, “A deep emotional state of melancholic longing for a person or thing that is absent.”
This piece strives to capture the feeling of when specific details of a memory are elusive, but the emotions linger. The melody of the saxophone and harmony of the electronic instruments are blended and blurred through use of delay and reverberation in order to communicate this mood. Additionally, the saxophonist can rearrange their melodic phrases over the fixed electronic recording in order to create variability in the structure of each performance.
The listener is invited to ease into the ambient texture of the piece and is encouraged to explore their own sense of saudade.