Next week, I’ll be performing Michael Daugherty’s Dead Elvis with the Sacramento State Symphonic Wind Ensemble as part of the school’s annual Festival of New American Music. Dead Elvis is scored for the same ensemble as Igor Stravinsky’s Histoire du Soldat — clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, trombone, violin, contrabass, and percussion. But whereas the main character in Stravinsky is a violin-playing soldier who sells his soul to the devil, Daugherty’s piece features a bassoon-playing Elvis who has made a similar trade. The soloist in fact dresses as Elvis while playing a mixture of variations on the Dies irae (from the Latin Mass for the dead) and snippets of Elvis tunes.
I’ve got my costume reserved, I’ve been studying the 1972 documentary Elvis on Tour, and I’ve got a reed on which I can double-tongue, blast out loud low B-flats, and scream on high Es. Now, just to perfect my moves and get used to playing with sunglasses on…
Sac State Symphonic Wind Ensemble
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
8pm — Free Admission!
California State University, Sacramento