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District Grooves

District Grooves is a set of three movements for clarinet, bass clarinet, and stereo playback built on samples from the DC area. The work was commissioned by the Spatial Forces duo and premiered in April 2018. The first movement (Walk Sign is On) relies primarily on samples from the area around my first apartment. The corner by our building had a particularly chatty walk-sign box, and the bouncing of my keys along with my footsteps always seemed to form a rhythmic counterpoint with voice telling me that “walk sign is on to cross East-West Highway.” The second movement (Beautiful Day) occupies a much calmer space. Samples in this movement were gathered on walks with my toddler to the playground in Sligo Creek Park. The swish of dry leaves as we walked are paired with sounds of the chains of the swings at the playground, and the movement ends with my son laughing and commenting that it’s a “beautiful day.” The final movement (Water! Water! Water!) finds us back in the faster pace of the city and takes us inside Nationals Park for a baseball game. On the walk into the park, we would always pass people with coolers selling water for fans to take into the game, and this “water, water, water” is a recurring motive in the movement. Other sound sources include the crack of the bat during batting practice, the announcer introducing each batter as they came up to the plate, and the crowd reacting to the action on the field.

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