Still Wing On, Three Transcriptions for Saxophone Quartet (2017)

(Saxophone Quartet: Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Baritone)

Total duration ca. 12' 

Three-movement work

1. Those That Returned

2. Rock me, toss me

3. Still wing on

Watch & listen to a performance of this work on YouTube

Performed by the Ron Ford Saxophone Quartet, videos published late June/early July, 2020

Purchase this score and parts from

Peter Dayton Music (ASCAP) for: $15.00

Work on this piece began back in 2013 with the composition of a piece for mixed chorus that set the poem “Large Red Man Reading” by Wallace Stevens. After years of unsuccessfully seeking permission from the publishers of this poem to use this musical setting, I had resigned the music to my personal dustbin. Like the ghosts of Stevens’s poem (literary influences, ideas incarnated by their being read), this set of pieces consists of notes and rhythms that return from a limbo of literary escrow. In part: the first movement is a setting of Stevens’s poem, the second is a setting of May Swenson’s “I will be earth,” a poem whose permission I gratefully acquired. The third is a setting of Hart Crane’s mystical “A Name for All,” whose opening characters, elusive night insects, evade the pinioning power of words and labels. Like Crane’s nocturnal moths, these pieces shed the restrictions of words, and still wing on in their purely musical expression.