Blast from the past at John Mackey's Blog

July 14, 2005

Blast from the past

Way back in the early 90’s, I got a commission for a grade 3+ band piece from a high school in Oregon. That was my first actual piece for band. It was short, and too difficult, as I had no idea what “grade 3” meant. I never heard a recording of the performance, and the reading that I heard at my college was awful (the kind that makes you think, “wow, I wrote a big ol’ piece of crap,” just because what you’re hearing is so bad — even if it sounds nothing like what you put on paper), so I essentially forgot about the piece. Last night, though, I got an email from the conductor who originally commissioned the piece. I hadn’t heard from him for over 10 years. He wants to arrange that band piece for his community orchestra. I gave him permission, and I’m very curious to see what he comes up with. We also discussed the possibility of me writing a choral piece, which I’ve been wanting to do for ages.

Since I had thought the original piece (called “One Part Invention”) would never be heard again, I took the theme (there was only one motive; thus the title) and reworked it as the slow movement of “Mood Indigo,” a piece for drum set and piano that I wrote back when I was a student at Juilliard. I just posted that movement, “Sour Heart,” on the “Mood Indigo” page, complete with a PDF of the score. Happy downloading.

Had a nice night out with Newman & Steve yesterday. Nothin’ beats dinner & drinks at Dallas BBQ — especially when Texas-sized Blue Hawaii’s are involved. I think my head has finally recovered…

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