Composer Spotlight: John Mackey
Filed Under: Music & Film | Posted: 04/02/2009 at 7:06PM
Comments | Region: Texas | United States
Last week the College Band Directors National Assocetion convention took place in Austin, Texas. While this convention contained performances of many new works, perhaps the most anticipated work of the evening was John Mackey’s "Asphalt Cocktail", performed by the Michigan State University Wind Symphony.
Here’s a little info about John Mackey before I talk about the piece. John Mackey studied at both the Cleveland Institue of Music and The Juilliard School with Donald Erb and John Corigliano respectively. Recently Mackey has received comissions from the American Bandmasters Association and the Dallas Wind Symphony. "Redline Tango", Mackey’s first piece for wind band, and perhaps his most well known piece has been performed over 100 times since its premier, and it won the ABA/Ostwald Award in 2005, making John Mackey the youngest composer ever to receive that honor.
About his new work "Asphalt Cocktail" Mackey states, "Asphalt Cocktail is a five minute opener, designed to shout from the opening, ‘We’re here.’ …Picture the scariest NYC taxi ride you can imagine, with the cab skidding around turns as trucks bear down from all sides…"
Throughout the course of the piece Mackey includes visuals such as the slamming of a trash can into the floor. The piece was extremely well recieved at the convention, and Frank Ticheli described it as, "…like being a masochist going one round in the ring with Mike Tyson. In a flash you are beaten to a pulp and knocked cold with one final punch, but you actually enjoyed it, and even thank him afterwards.
To listen to John Mackey’s music visit his website www.ostimusic.com he will be posting the recording of "Asphalt Cocktail as soon as he recieves it from the convention.