David Arend composer
David Arend double bass
Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra | Petr Vronský, Jiří Petrdlíkconductors
Salim Washington tenor saxophone
With an innate sense of curiosity and a drive for knowledge, humans constantly push the boundaries of their physical and psychological environments, attempting to break through and discover the unexpected. On his debut Navona Records release ASTRAL TRAVELS, composer and double bassist David Arend explores several frontiers, including perceived boundaries between musical genres, earth and outer space, humanity and nature, and perception and reality.
Taking its title from the scientific name for California Redwood trees, Sequoia Sempervirens (2010) is a colorful double bass concerto whose atmospheric music illustrates the mysteries and forces of the forest. Arend deftly crafts moments of fragility, sweeping orchestral gestures and overlapping, intertwining textures to portray an abstract musical landscape.
Voyager: Three Sheets to the Wind (2013-14) celebrates the mission of the Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft and the relentless efforts of the scientists whose work greatly enhanced our understanding of the solar system. A double concerto for tenor saxophone and double bass, this work incorporates stylistic characteristics of jazz and classical music. Written for the brilliant tenor saxophonist Salim Washington, Voyager mingles through-composed and improvised sections for both soloists. At one point in the work, the entire orchestra enters into a quiet, distant improvisation. Composer/soloist Arend utilized a meditation technique called astral travel while composing this piece, mentally tracing the Voyager planetary encounters and the journey beyond. He uses color and timbre to great effect in his orchestral writing as well as in his handling of the soloists, dramatically portraying the journey from Earth to the Solar system’s edge and into the infinite.