Year 2, Month 1 – January

This Duo Chronicles theme is called “January.”  It’s about marking time.  While our personal life cycles rarely fit neatly into the calendar year, January does feel like a marker–both a time to reflect on the past and a time to start fresh.  January is two-sided in this way, just like the Roman deity Janus, the god of endings and beginnings whose two faces look to the past and the future.  This is what I had in mind as I was writing this music.

The piece starts with an open bass solo — a meditation or reflection on the past over a single, minor chord. This is followed by the saxophone’s rubato melody statement that transitions us to the piano’s improvisation on the present.  Here, the form has changed slightly and some chords are extended.  At this point, there is a musical conversation occurring that leads into the future, propelled by the saxophone, over a suspended chord whose open sound contrasts with the minor sound we heard during the bass’s opening reflection on the past.

Bassist Dave Captein joins us on this tune.  One would be hard pressed to find a more solid and versatile bassist anywhere. Thanks to Dave for taking part in this.

In this year’s project, we’ll compose, record and disseminate one song a month for the next twelve months.  While not as rigorous as the last series in which we produced  a song every week for a year, this current project will present its own challenges. We plan to arrange pieces for more instruments and include a variety of guest artists.  We’re using four cameras now (two Flips and two iPhones). This presents John with more video editing options, but also makes it more challenging.

We hope you enjoy this Duo Chronicles 2012 project.

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