Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra (1994)
When I was commissioned by Griffin Campbell to write this concerto, I asked him if there were any unique techniques that he felt were not featured enough in the saxophone repertoire. He described two: fast tremolos, and slap tonguing. When done correctly, the tremolos can function like double-stops on a string instrument, and I thought that it would be cool to have the soloist play in counterpoint to himself. The slap tongue is a percussive effect akin to a pizzicato. With that inspiration, I wrote a piece which integrates these techniques to such an extent that they appear naturally and without special affectation. That is, they are simply another way of creating musical expression that extends the instruments capabilities.