Michael Karmon

...And The Rhythm Is Just A Little Bit Off...

Instrumentationpicc, 2 fl, 2 ob, 2 cl, b. cl., 2 bsn, c. bsn, 4 hrn, 3 tpt,3 trb, tuba, timp, 3 perc, harp, pno/celesta, strings.
Lengthca 10'
DifficultyThe piece is mostly fast and energetic,and there are passages with frequently changing meters, so players need to feel comfortable with out-of-the-ordinary rhythms. However, once this is dealt with the piece should play itself. The Haddonfield (NJ) Symphony, which premiered the piece in May, and contains within its ranks many students from Curtis, spent about an hour of rehearsal time and did a great job at the concert with Alan Gilbert conducting. (The bass clarinetist did an especially wonderful job.)
CommentsThe piece is based on the following poem/rap:

I wrote this song And its kinda funny Cause the words don't rhyme And the rhythm is just a little bit off...

This should give you an idea of the nature of the piece. It's accessible and fun to listen to (I hope), but it's not trite. The following is from a review by Robert Baxter in the Camden Courier Post:

"The piece unfolds in a series of surprising episodes that keep the listener off balance right up to the unexpected ending... Karmons score proceeds in short segments filled with sudden tonal, dynamic, and rhythmic shifts before it settles down into a lush melodic expansion of the opening theme."

ContributorThe composer

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