Composer: Matthew Orlovich | Date of Composition: 27 June 2016 | Instrumentation: Saxophone Quartet (SATB) and Bicycle Bell | Duration: c. 10 minutes | Composed at the invitation of: Nexas Quartet (Sydney, Australia) | Publisher: Waratah Music | Format: Printed Edition (Score & Parts) WM005 / ISMN 979-0-7202-1508- 2); PDF Digital Download (Score & Parts) WM005e / ISMN 979-0-7202-1509-9) | Edition: 18 February 2019
Composed at the invitation of Nexas Quartet (Sydney, Australia), Slipstream is an energetic work which celebrates the thrill of the ride while championing the art of precision teamwork. Scored for saxophone quartet and bicycle bell, the music nods in the direction of the cycling world and to the technique of slipstreaming or drafting, as it is known in cycling parlance.
All three movements of the score feature a fair amount of jostling counterpoint. The first movement (Allegro, alla fanfara) is a little bit rollercoasteresque in its melodic contour. The middle movement (Con ritmo) juxtaposes two contrasting musical characters: “groovy” versus “straightlaced”. Marked Sentirsi bene (Feeling good), the third and final movement recaps material from the first movement, albeit at a quicker tempo and in the manner of a race to the finish line.
I warmly thank Michael Duke, Andrew Smith, Nathan Henshaw and Jay Byrnes of Nexas Quartet for inviting me to compose Slipstream and for giving the world premiere performance on Tuesday 29 November, 2016 at the Utzon Room, Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point, NSW, Australia.