Duration (in minutes): 8.5'
Difficulty: Medium (college/community)
Category: small chamber ensembles - 2 to 4 players
Instruments: contrabass, guitar, percussion, piano
Publisher: Subito Music Corporation
Description: Shifting Colors was written for the ZigZag Quartet. I found writing for the combination of instruments that made up the group - double bass, guitar, percussion (using small instruments for easy travel by the performer) and piano – challenging. The group itself plays mainly jazz and Latin music, but classical music is part of ZigZag Quartet’s eclectic repertoire. I wanted to write music that would be different than the works they usually perform. Therefore I chose to emphasize the unique timbres of the group, and to work with sparse textures that transfer sounds among instruments so that each instrument could be heard. This became four short movements. The first movement, Dark Seeds, starts with low instrumental colors, and also uses sounds within the piano as well as on the keys. The second movement, Brighter Palette, is faster and higher. The third movement, Transparencies, uses high and scattered sounds made by crotales, guitar harmonics, and plucking high piano strings. A high double bass melody weaves through the movement. The last movement, Colors That Dance, accelerates into a dance featuring percussion. The movement picks up momentum, giving closure to the work as a whole.