The Melodic Life is a study in theme and variations. A “follow that melody” approach that traces the life of a lighthearted melody named Bob from early childhood to middle age. Stops are made at a variety of life’s events including going to school, playing sports and eventually job experiences such as being in a circus and a Broadway show. Bob eventually achieves stardom appearing in movies. The melody’s emotional range is demonstrated with sad and angry variations. Bob, of course, falls in love with a countermelody.
The intent of the work is to hone the listening skills of the audience while fostering a deeper appreciation for melodic use and development. Also, the proverbial message “variety is the spice of life” should ring in the listeners’ ears as well as their hearts.
The Melodic Life was premiered in 2006 at the Cabrillo Music Festival in Santa Cruz, California. Marin Alsop, for whom the work was written and dedicated, conducted the festival orchestra and the author narrated. Bob appeared more or less as himself.
Orchestration: 3(pic), 2(eh), 2, 2 4, 3, 3, 1 Timp+2, Harp, Strings, Narrator.
Timing: 22 minutes