Catawampus

Two clarinets in B-Flat

Approx. 6 minutes

2011

Written for the dynamic AdZel Duo, Catawampus is a fun, fast-paced duet for two clarinets. In many ways, Catawampus is a sibling work to my flute and clarinet duo Organism written the year before. With both works, I did not plan anything in advance, but instead decided to let the piece go where it goes, and do my best to take advantage of the extraordinary flexibility and diverse sound worlds available from these instruments. Knowing that I had world-class players waiting for it gave me freedom to go pretty much anywhere I wanted.

The end result with Catawampus is a piece that seems to travel through a few places on a journey you’re not going to be able to predict as a listener. The opening section, with its unsubtlely dissonant tritone, and slightly offbeat rhythms serves as a kind of connecting material between each different scene.[possibly serving a similar role as the Promenade in Pictures at an Exhibition, but I’m hesitant to make the comparison.] There are two inner sections (starting at measures 70 and 128) which could almost be considered internal movements of a multi-movement piece, but should be considered more like rooms in a gallery, where our duo peeks their heads in to see what’s up.

In the end, Catawampus was intended to be as fun and energetic as the two outstanding performers it was written for.

If the instrumentation of this work isn’t quite what you are looking for, let’s discuss the creation of a new version of this work that will meet your needs. You may be surprised at how easy this is to do. Contact me at jason@jasonbarabba.com

Recording