Compositions‎ > ‎Chamber Music‎ > ‎ blue as it has been in my dreams blue as it has been in my dreams (2012)


Occupy Ducky Hall Percussion Quartet


Brian Spicklemire, Will Trachsel, Josh Williamson, Brendan Thompson


            At the end of The Shawshank Redemption, we find Morgan Freeman's character Red traveling down to Mexico, to meet up with his friend Andy, who had escaped from Shawshank just months earlier.[1] He's eagerly anticipating their reunion, and excited about his travel into the unknown, saying "...I hope I can make it across the border. I hope to see my friend and shake his hand. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope. "


            That sense of freedom and spontaneity was the inspiration for this piece. Each player is given several cells to be played for a certain duration, and instruction to ad-lib within those cells and react to other players actions. This open, yet controlled environment can produce all kinds of results, and it's that trading and exchange of ideas that really drives the piece.


            I choose to write for drum-set quartet for two reasons. First, and perhaps most obviously, there's very little repertoire for this type of ensemble. Second, I thought of my grandfather, who knew very little about music, but always told me to simply, "hit them drums hard," whenever I got a chance. Whether he meant to or not, he always reminded me how lucky I was to get to play music and do something that I love, and how like Red's hope, that opportunity and gift of simply being able to play was a very good thing. And as Andy DuFresne reminds us, " good thing ever truly dies."

[1] I realize that might technically be a spoiler, but sorry, the movie has been out almost 20 years now. It's on TNT every 7 minutes. If you haven't seen it by now and I just ruined the ending for you, it's not my fault.