Blue Blaze - Dance Suite

Joanna Lee ()

Blue Blaze - Dance Suite 2017


‘Blue Blaze - Dance Suite’ is a Concertante piece for oboe, clarinet, bassoon and horn soloists with string orchestra. The piece consists of four movements inspired by four different dance or movement styles - ballet, hip-hop, dirge and rumpus. Each movement is dedicated to a location and/or person who has impacted on my life.

‘Blue Blaze Ballet’ is inspired by daybreak at Aldeburgh beach in Suffolk, with its glistening blue sea and sky. It is a dedication to the composing time I have spent in Aldeburgh and Anthony Payne and Jane Manning.

‘Hockley Hip-hop’ is dedicated to Joe Cutler, who I studied composition with at Birmingham Conservatoire, my accommodation at the time being in Hockley. The movement references Cutler’s work ‘Sal’s Sax’ and also my own piece, ‘Jimmie’s got a goil’ from ‘Chansons Innocentes’, which was my first commission for the Orchestra of the Swan in 2008.

‘Dunwich Dirge’ pays reference to my childhood in Suffolk with many visits to the small village of Dunwich. Dunwich has a sad past, with much of the once large town lost to sea by storms. With its close vicinity to Aldeburgh, the movement is dedicated to Benjamin Britten and specifically, his Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings.

‘Rugrat Rumpus’ is inspired by the movement and unpredictable behaviour of my two-year old daughter. It is dedicated to Oliver Knussen, my mentor, and specifically ‘The Wild Rumpus’ from his fantasy opera ‘Where The Wild Things Are’. The movement pays reference again to my piece for the Orchestra of the Swan , ‘Hist whist’ from ‘Chansons Innocentes’.

Joanna Lee

14.2.17 Stratford Artshouse, Stratford-upon-Avon: Orchestra of the Swan / David Curtis
22.2.17 Town Hall, Birmingham: Orchestra of the Swan / David Curtis