for symphonic winds & percussion

Riff Raff was born out of a recently renewed interest in post-war jazz and big-band. The works of composers and arrangers like Kenton, Riddle, Graettinger, Ellington, and even the jazz-inspired sounds in some of Bernstein's symphonic music conjure up images (in my mind anyway) of the "urban rebel" found within mid-century American pop culture. 

This idea of the brooding lone figure who forges through life on their own terms can be found in some of the fictional film characters played by James Dean and Marlon Brando or in the hard-boiled detectives and heroes within pulp novels and film noir. What I find interesting about these character's is the double-persona that they usually possess. On one hand they exude an über-cool toughness and an "I don't care what the world thinks" bravado. Yet internally there is often a conflicted and troubled soul in need of redemption. 

This work was commissioned by the Consortium for the Advancement of Wind Band Literature and was premiered by the St. Charles East High School band, Jim Kull conducting, at Carnegie Hall NY in the Spring of 2012.



Parts | Site License: 195

Score: 50