Program Note for Sentinels of the Dance (orchestra, 1985)


Written with few limitations, this is perhaps the "wildest" of my earlier works and my first orchestral work.  Rhythmically influenced by jazz and rock, the opening section breaks up the orchestra in different combinations of attacks much like a gigantic trap set in which the conductor plays each member of the set in spontaneous, syncopated rhythms.  In the second section, a kaleidoscope of colors sets the stage for the central dance in which both fast and slow music is heard simultaneously. The last section, like the first, helps to frame the central movement through large, monolithic statements.  It concludes with an accelerated layering of musics and a final syncopated statement with tutti. (The homage is intentional.)