Out of the Blue, Frank Ticheli

Out of the Blue is, above all, a celebration of rhythm. Almost every bar in the piece contains one form of syncopation or another. I was well aware of the risk involved by having too much of a good thing - constant syncopation could easily begin to sound square - but I had to discover for myself just how far my obsession could be taken. What resulted is, for me, an urgent, jazzy, hyperactive energy - sometimes raucous, other times explosive, always free-wheeling. Out of the Blue was composed for the Prism Saxophone Quartet, who gave the premiere performance at Christ & St. Stephen's Church in New York City, June 20, 2000. This work was commissioned through American Ensembles: A Musical Celebration of the Millennium a special project of Chamber Music America, with funding provided by The National Endowment for the Arts, the Helen F. Whitaker Fund, and the Chamber Music America Fund.