To celebrate and expand the repertoire for solo and duo contemporary classical saxophone, I humbly offer my debut album BOON BESTOWED. This project contains a collection of simultaneously challenging and approachable works selected to compel diverse audiences.
BOON BESTOWED is designed to take the listener on a journey that loosely outlines the arc of Joseph Campbell’s monomyth. Campbell (1904-1987) was an American writer, professor, and mythologist whose book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, has furthered our collective understanding of the structure of stories throughout human existence. Upon comparing copious historical epics, Campbell distilled a standard plot into three main parts with various subcategories: the departure, initiation, and return. He dubbed this structure, “the hero’s journey.”
The BOON BESTOWED listener is encouraged to create their own narrative while experiencing this work. In my mind, the programmatic music of this album paints a fantastical Odyssey-like epic. For my narrative, I envision a confident, driven heroine guided by other-worldly spirits embarking on an adventurous journey with her chipmunk companion, a string of peppercorns, and a winged beast.
For the music, I chose to feature solo and duo pieces in order to explore the saxophones’ natural color palettes. For most of this project’s solo works, I selected the beguiling soprano saxophone as my voice, though all four horns are included in the title track, Boon Bestowed. The duet pieces offer variety and the opportunity to experiment with some different saxophone combinations: alto/baritone, soprano/alto, soprano/soprano, alto/tenor, and tenor/baritone.
This project’s style embodies the oxymoron, “contemporary classical.” While the music is composed in the classical idiom, the project’s novelty defies the standard meaning of the word “classical.” The contemporary nature of the project is evident with the fact that the oldest pieces in the collection were written in 2011. While these compositions generally fit within the classical idiom, some of them also hint at minimalist, jazz, progressive rock, blues, and funk influences.
Thank you to my family and friends and colleagues for all their guidance and assistance! I would like to thank (in no particular order): Carly Hood, Christoph Thompson, Evan Gidley, Terri McConahay, John Terhune, Lucy Terhune, Annie Terhune, Rocky Rodriguez, Mark Buselli, Laura Haines, George Wolfe, James Bunte, Jay Young, Heidi Radtke, Nicki Roman, Eric Salazar, Jalissa Gascho, Brian Bosley, Kelsey Georgesen, my Audiodacity family, the attendants of my April 2022 recital, the Indiana Arts Commission, the Center for the Performing Arts, PARMA Recordings, and all others who have supported me in big and small ways. I feel much love from my community and I love you all in return.
— Cecily Terhune