East Texas Landscapes (2017)

East Texas Landscapes

East Texas is not a much sung area. While West Texas is part of the cowboy Wild West, the east part has no such easy characterization. That doesn’t mean that it’s not full of remarkable sights.

This suite of five pieces for SATB recorder quartet describes some of these places.

  1. Hearn Crossing describes the rail yards at Hearn “The Crossroads of Texas”. It has an appropriately chugging bass line (optionally on great bass) over which the other three voices move in close harmony.
  2. Fayette Sky was inspired by the sky over Fayette County, the place of the beautiful “painted churches”, founded by wealthy German and Czech immigrants around 1890.
  3. Burton Gin refers to the “Cotton Gin” in Burton TX, a machine for processing the cotton that grows in that region. (Remember the scenes in Places of the Heart?)
  4. Crockett Mansion was inspired by the stately ruin of the Mary Ellen Seminary in Crocket, originally a school for black girls founded in 1890, later integrated, and now empty for decades.
  5. Finally “79 Miles” does not refer to a any distance, but to US 79, which runs between Austin and Palestine TX, the location of the fall Texas Toot early music festival. It is purely coincidental that this movement alternates between 7/8 and 9/8 time.

These pieces are in my “pantonal” idiom, which is not generally based on any tonality, but still use tonal chords enough to be pleasantly listenable. It also makes it fun and rewarding to play.

Total running time 8 minutes.

This composition was first published to my Patreon supporters, and is now available through Score Exchange.