cl - pno - vln.vlc - pipa - erhu - zheng


Score and parts for hire

Faber Music Ltd. is the sole agent for Bermel works published by Peermusic Classical in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

For these territories, contact the Faber Music Hire Library:

For other territories, including North and South America, South Korea and China, contact the Peermusic Classical Rental Library:

Perusal score available here

Programme Notes

Several years ago, I performed my clarinet concerto at the Beijing New Music Festival, and was struck by how the orchestral musicians found their way into bluesy inflections through invoking the emotional terrain of Peking Opera. I get inspired by such unexpected intersections  Chinese traditional music and the blues. Most notably, both utilize the pentatonic scale melodically and both employ slides (glissandi) to build and release tension. I sketched some clarinet licks that might just as easily be played by an erhu, invoking the Slow Drag, which, like other early blues dances (the Mooche, Squat, Funky Butt, Snake Hips, Gut Stomp, Mule Walk, and Fish Tail), originated in the American South. Three days before the 2012 Chinese New Year, the singer Etta James passed away, and "Dragon Blue" was born in her wake.

Dragon Blue

Merkin Hall, Kaufman Music Center (New York City, NY, USA)

Music from Copland House, Music from China