Performance by Christopher Orlando, tenor saxophone
Balloonman was commissioned by and is dedicated to saxophonist Andrew Allen. The work is based on the poem In Just- by E. E. Cummings. The saxophone melody is derived from a recording of Cummings reading the poem. Cummings reads with a lyrical, lilting quality. I transcribed his voice as closely as possible into a pitched melody. The entire transcription is stated in the beginning by the saxophone alone. The electronic part consists of manipulations of the recording as well as motivic development of the transcription. The recording of E. E. Cummings reading the poem is gradually presented in various relationships with the saxophone, and in the end the poem is finally heard in its original form with the saxophone in imitation.
“in Just-” from COMPLETE POEMS: 1904-1962, by E. E. Cummings, Edited by George J. Firmage, is used with permission of Liveright Publishing Corporation. Copyright 1923, 1951, 1991 by the Trustees for the E. E. Cummings Trust. Copyright (c) 1976 by George James Firmage.