This saxophone quartet was my second collaboration as a composer with Elizabeth Mikautadze and her wonderful dance company in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I have enjoyed both experiences tremendously, and I hope they will continue inviting me to write for them in the future.
The title “Mechanical” comes from a sign on a locked door at my church. The rhythmic gestures in the piece come directly from the sounds emanating from behind that door.
Elizabeth chose to choreograph “Mechanical” as a whimsical sort of conversation between the dancers. She titled the dance “Talkin’,” which seems a perfect fit as the dancers imitate the manner in which the saxophones interact with one another.
The video below is from the dress rehearsal for Mikautadze Dance Theatre’s May 2017 concert. There are a few minor rhythmic bobbles in the sax ensemble, but they got pretty darned close to perfection at this rehearsal. It’s not an easy read, let me tell ya! Their Saturday evening performance was truly spectacular. I will try to get at least an audio recording posted from that performance soon. In the meantime, enjoy this wonderful dress rehearsal footage!
This video below is by the Purdue Fort Wayne student saxophone quartet, who performed “Mechanical” quite wonderfully at my composition recital in April of 2019.