Yale’s Woolsey Hall is a peculiar acoustic environment; its high ceiling, shallow stage, and hard, non-porous surfaces create a staggering 13-second reverberation, flattering some sounds and completely overwhelming others (the mighty Newberry organ sounds fantastic; anything fast or staccato, not so much). The effect is that of a giant bathroom.
When the YSO asked me to write a piece in memory of one of their past conductors, I knew I wanted to write for the hall that the orchestra has struggled with and triumphed in for some 40 years. I didn’t know William Harwood (he died the year I was born), but I was the keyboardist in the YSO for several years, experiencing first-hand the camaraderie and fierce playing that the group inspires.
That said, Bathtub Shrine is an elegy, based on a chaccone in parallel fifths. Rising fifths also act as a melodic impetus, on which first the saxophone and then other wind instruments ponder, debate, and elaborate (in that order).
ListenTimo Andres: Bathtub Shrine
recorded live at Royce Hall, Los Angeles, CA, Oct. 2013
performers Alex Treger, conductor; American Youth Symphony
Bathtub Shrine score, print edition
Bathtub Shrine score, PDF edition
19 pages, 11×17 format. Includes full score only. Parts are available for rental; please email firstname.lastname@example.org for a quote.