Scatterbrain for Jazz Ensemble (Grade 4)

Instrumentation: Jazz Ensemble (Big Band)

Duration: 9’30”

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Program Note:

Scatterbrain is a disjointed exploration of several different styles and genres of jazz music, including bebop, funk, and blues. When I started writing this piece I got so excited about all the possibilities and ideas I could employ in my first piece for jazz ensemble, which caused me to be unfocused and distracted throughout my writing process. I ended up writing several disparate ideas, all of which I wanted to incorporate in the piece, so I decided on the title Scatterbrain in order to explain the lack of continuity in my writing process and justify the inclusion of these contrasting sections in the piece. In addition to these various sections, the piece is held together by a mixed meter rock-influenced theme, typically featured as a rhythm section soli, which is the only repeating material in the whole piece and acts as connective tissue between the more unrelated sections.

Scatterbrain was written in 2019 for Jordan VanHemert and the Holland Concert Jazz Orchestra as a part of the Millenium Composers Initiative collaboration concert.