Wednesday, February 2, 2011

West Point Band - Quintette 7

The West Point Band's newest chamber group is Quintette 7, created specifically to perform the music of Raymond Scott.  One of the greatest twentieth-century composers you may have never heard of, Scott created some of the most memorable and innovative music of the post-WWII era.  His music is perhaps best known for being adapted by Carl Stalling for the Looney Tunes cartoons, but he was also a pioneer in the field of electronic music, credited with creating the first synthesizer, the first polyphonic sequencer, and some of the first electronic music for television commercials. 

Of particular interest to clarinetists is the exciting jazz clarinet writing featured in Scott's compositions -- reminiscent of Duke Ellington but with the upbeat, catchy riffs and rhythmic propulsion that bring to mind the more recent composer Danny Elfman (of Pee-Wee's Big Adventure fame).  Clarinetist Don Byron recorded many Raymond Scott compositions on his 1996 album Bug Music.  Now, the West Point Band is continuing the Raymond Scott revival with Quintette 7, featuring clarinetist Kristen Mather.  Go here to learn more about Raymond Scott and Quintette 7.  Enjoy!

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