This album has a ‘looking forwards/looking backwards’ aspect for me as the composer; it is both a GPS and a scrapbook of memories.
Un raz-de-marée de terreur et de joie (A tidal wave of terror and of joy) is a piece that alternates between contemplative and harsh soundscapes. The sudden shifts in texture and tempo have become a recent feature of my music, which I believe creates a more compelling shape and form.
John F. Colson, my late father, was a trumpet player, and the Duo for Trumpet and Piano is dedicated to him. I grew up listening to the trumpet’s standard repertoire, which is ‘classic’ in nature—straight-forward pieces without extended techniques. My piece fits in that realm and is relatively conservative, though difficult due to rhythm, meter, and range.
In 2017, I met percussionist Matthew Coley who impressed me as a performer, especially on the marimba. Ghost Music was written for him. As a former percussionist, I was confident writing virtuoso music that is, first, a vehicle for expression, but also incorporates Coley’s formidable skills on the marimba.
Cats are not my favorite mammals, but they’re attracted to me, and I have known many, mostly belonging to friends and family. The eight vignettes that represent Cat Tales are about a collection of cats, of which I had company with over different times. I enjoyed composing this piece since it allowed me to tell stories about each of the animals.
In 2002, I composed a work for the Colorado Symphony’s percussion section. Each November the percussionists of the orchestra perform a concert titled “Drums of the World.” The River within Us was premiered at this performance and later recorded by the Western Michigan University Percussion Ensemble, which is featured on this recording.
— David Colson