Naz Wind Symphony and Eastman Wind Orchestra Premiere of “Electric Vortex”

This is a live recording of my composition Electric Vortex performed by the Eastman Wind Orchestra, December 13, 2013, under the direction of Jared Chase, featuring the jazz band “Bending and Breaking” based in Rochester, NY:

ElectricVortexWills McKenna, tenor saxophone
Wendy Eisenberg, electric guitar
Matt Krols, electric bass
Aaron Staebell, drums
I enjoy writing music for both jazz and classical musicians, and many of my compositions over the last three years have showcased these musicians performing together. When conductor Jared Chase approached me over the summer about writing a piece for both the Eastman Wind Orchestra and the Nazareth Wind Symphony to perform, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to write a piece for wind ensemble featuring the local jazz band, Bending and Breaking led by drummer Aaron Staebell. I envisioned writing a wind ensemble piece featuring Aaron’s band ever since he premiered my composition Uprising (2012) with the Eastman Wind Ensemble.
I wrote Electric Vortex to showcase this collaboration. I was inspired by powerful images I found online of an electric vortex, and envisioned the improvisation group to be the ‘eye’ in this powerful whirlwind.

ElectricVortex-NYSSMAElectric Vortex was written for a consortium of 10 ensembles, and was premiered by the Nazareth Wind Symphony under the direction of Jared Chase. For the premiere at Nazareth, I created a special version of the piece, where I wrote specific parts for students in the wind symphony who also played jazz: Jake Wark, tenor sax; Matt Bevan-Perkins, vibraphone; Tori Valente, congas.

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