August Joy


The original title, In the Year of Dreams and August Joy was written for a close friend of mine, Anthony Lanzino. Within the course of just over one year Mr. Lanzino suffered the loss of his father and celebrated the birth of his first child, August. Rather than be literal with the inspired material and write a programmatic piece starting from dark and ending with light, I opted for a more impressionistic approach. (I find that last statement a little strange as the former scenario never actually occurred to me until a close friend of mine admitted his relief in hearing the piece and realizing my treatment was non-obvious). The piece is harmonically driven by chromatic relationships which occur next to each other at times, and at other times on top of each other. The resulting harmonic soundscape of the piece is what I like to call “a joyful observation of life’s certainties and its treasures”.  Mr. Lanzino’s band, the Whitney M. Young Magnet High School Wind Ensemble, has an incredibly strong percussion section; thus, the piece has a strong rhythmic and color component to its fabric. Discovering unique combinations of wind and percussive elements — I found the process of orchestrating this piece especially enjoyable.

The piece was premiered on February 24th, 2012 at Carnegie Hall.