Gwyneth Walker

Sweet Imagination

for Brass Quintet (2007)

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Commissioned by the Carolina Brass

Sweet Imagination is a set of four short “expressions of the imagination” for brass quintet. Sounds or images which entered the composer’s fantasy during the time of composing are presented as vignettes.

“Things that go ‘Bump’ in the Night” is subtitled “a ghost story.” Scurrying sounds, spooky glissandi and unexpected loud noises fill the nighttime “story.”

“Tiptoes” is a minuet, a dainty minuet. Occasionally, but still lightly, a contrasting section in 4/4 interrupts the 3/4 meter. And a “soothing” middle section smoothes out the texture briefly. Then, the opening “tiptoes” motive returns.

“Turkey Trot” enjoys the delightful sounds that can be produced with brass mouthpieces. These gobbling sounds open the movement. The turkey theme then enters as a light, “buoyant turkey.” And later, the theme returns as a “robust turkey.” [There are many wild turkeys in the fields next to the composer’s studio.]

“Dancing Shoes” is an appropriate title for music in a “soft shoe” style of rolling triplets. Many extra-musical effects such as tapping on instruments, lip smacks and the occasion foot thud are inserted into this musical “stroll in the park.”

Notes by the composer