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In 2006 my then composition professor, François Rose, asked me to find an instrumental soloist with whom I could collaborate on some solo material. Rose insisted for this sketch that I write music for a new instrument and that it needed to be in ⅝. This was Rose’s brilliant tactic of exposing me to many different methods of writing through the enforcing of limitations. I had never written for bassoon but was good friends with Benjamin Opp, an excellent individual who happened to be the star bassoonist of the region. Ben endured my series of dumb questions and even permitted me to spend hours simply watching him practice. During these sessions, I would either stare awkwardly as he sight read non-bassoon music or scribble nonsense on the page to see how he responded. Ben patiently let me into his world, enabling me to internalize how a bassoonist thought about music through their instrument. And so this piece became the first little sketch of mine for bassoon. Ben kindly enjoyed it enough to perform it a few times, and we have since collaborated on countless other musical adventures. I am always in debt to his terrific musicianship and wonderful friendship.
June 23, 2020