The Great River Rapid Chase came about from two different reasons. After growing up and living in my home state of Michigan for the majority of my life, I moved to New York City to pursue graduate-level academics. Although I can't deny there have been so many incredible experiences I've had here (and I wouldn't change that for anything), I also can't deny that, every now and again, I've felt a bit homesick for the incredible landscapes and sights that Michigan has to offer. Writing this piece was an opportunity for me to get back in touch with that part of nature that I've loved for so long now.
This piece was also an opportunity for me to exercise another goal: composing high-quality music for younger musicians that could equally be fun to listen to as well as perform. I sought to challenge the players, but not so much as to make the music difficult for all the wrong reasons. This led to further challenges of creating authentic contrasting shapes and new colors within a standardized form that, overall, I had a lot of fun exploring.
The Great River Rapid Chase is a short, fast-paced adventure relying on rhythmic grooves and a sense of determination to arrive towards a final destination. Think of fish swimming upstream in a raging river - sometimes with the currents, sometimes against them. What sort of predators and other dangers will they face?