Project Info

Project Description

Low attitude!
three sketches for low pitched duet

  • in four versions:
    • for Baritone Saxophone and Bass Clarinet
    • for two Bass Clarinets
    • for two Baritone Saxophones
    • for two Bassoons
  • composition date: 2021/2022
  • duration: ca. 10 min. (4+4+2)
  • movements:
    I – Rough
    II – Melancholic
    III – Restless
  • partial premiere (only I / version for Baritone Saxophone and Bass Clarinet):
    11/09/2021 | Musibéria / Serpa | Filipe Valentim (baritone sax) / Vasco Valente (bass clarinet)


Low Attitude!, three sketches for low pitched duet (originally, for baritone saxophone and bass clarinet duo; alternatively, for 2 baritone saxophones, or 2 bass clarinets, or 2 bassoons), appeared in response to a challenge launched in 2021 by bass clarinet virtuoso Vasco Valente, a long-time dear friend. Officially materialized in a commission from his duo 2_LOW (with baritone saxophonist Filipe Valentim), the request was to write a short piece (4-5 minutes) to be included in an eclectic program of several duos composed by different composers for that peculiar group. My contribution was then the first movement of the present triptych, but I immediately felt that the piece deserved further development. Therefore, in 2022 I added to the initial Rough (at the time of its premiere still generically called Low Attitude!) two new movements, respectively the middle Melancholic and the final Restless. The formal structure thus became a classic triptych fast-slow-fast, in which each movement develops its musical narrative using a different musical technique. The first is essentially minimalist and eccentric; the second is based on an intricate counterpoint that constantly alternates main and secondary voices; the third unfolds in total rhythmic symbiosis but is full of metric irregularity and dramatic silences that interrupt the musical narrative. The unifying point is virtuosity, which is asked to both instrumentalists in equal proportion, as well as a superior technical mastery of their instruments in all the ranges, from the deep low to the altissimo.

As I composed the second and third movements, I realized that the music flowing from my imagination suggested grotesque imagery in the style of Paula Rego’s paintings, so often characterized by exaggerated and deformed characters and/or situations. Although there is no direct connection between my cycle and the art of that great Portuguese painter (I do not try to describe any of her paintings in particular), I identify in my music some common characteristics with Rego’s aesthetics, namely a certain grotesque surrealism that punctuates the themes. As frequently has happened in other works of mine, the visual inspiration may not come directly, but reveals itself subconsciously in my compositions, a fact that pleases me, I admit, as I have been a lover of Painting since my youth.

Finally, the titles of the three movements reflect everyday states of mind that somehow seek a fusion between artistic abstraction and mundane realism. We are, as humans, eminently artistic living beings, even in the smallest and most ordinary of actions.

buy sheet music
contact the composer here.

[available soon]



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