Commissioned: The Florida Orchestra, Michael Francis, music director, and The Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters
Premiere: The Florida Orchestra, Michael Francis, music director
Duration: five minutes
Instrumentation: 188.8.131.52./184.108.40.206./timp/3 perc/harp/piano/strings.
RUNNING ON ROOFTOPS is the first in a series of pieces called Imagined Adventures; short, programmatic works based on childhood fantasies. This fanfare is about the superhero fantasy of running, jumping, swinging, or flying across a city skyline.
It begins with rumbling, dreary, motoric “street-level” music, which lightens as our character spots a fire escape, and begins daydreaming about climbing to the roof to test out new imaginary super powers. As the piece progresses, there are occasional conflicts between the bright, sun-lit rooftop hero music, and the darker, shadowed, street-level music. Eventually, with new super powers well under foot, the final heroic version of the main theme emerges.
Not only is this piece about superhero fantasies, but for me, it is also about composer fantasies. Writing this piece allowed me to play in a film music-inspired sandbox that I might otherwise not get to do.