Instrumentation: saxophone quartet
Duration: ca. 6:00
Premiere: October 9, 2017 :: Capitol Saxophone Quartet :: Michigan State University College of Music :: Fairchild Theatre :: East Lansing, MI
Anaphora was commissioned by Novus New Music, Inc. and a consortium of sponsors for the Capitol and h2 Quartets. Anaphora is a Greek word (ἀναφορά), which means “carrying back” or “turning upon,” and, among other uses, describes a linguistic device where the same word or phrase is repeated for emphasis at the beginning of subsequent clauses or sentences. It is related to epistrophe, which is the repetition of words or phrases at the end of clauses or sentences. This piece is built upon the idea of initial repetition and departure, but it also pays homage to the quirky and angular outbursts and dissonances of the great jazz standard Epistrophy by Thelonius Monk and Kenny Clarke from 1941. I think of Anaphora as a highly distorted version of Epistrophy, like a reflection warped by waves in a pool of water or like a strange solo on Monk’s tune gone awry.