As a teenager I was an avid fan of the prog-rock band King Crimson in its second incarnation, which featured the great electric guitar duo Robert Fripp and Adrian Belew. When I set out to write this concerto, their mesmerizing contrapuntal textures came to mind. As the piece evolved, the material seemed connected to the Baroque 'concerto grosso', both in style and form (exemplified by composers such as Corelli and Vivaldi). Knowing that Wiek Hijmans is a formidable improviser, I left room for him to explore further musical possibilites, separating the ritornello sections with 'French Overture' interludes (exemplified by composers such as Lully), the second one overlaid with a thrash-metal (Metallica, Slayer, et al.) solo that likewise evokes the Baroque aesthetic in its mannered, epic style.
I wish to express special thanks to Wiek, Mark Dancigers, David Alan Miller, Bas Wiegers, Jeffrey Kahane, Andrea Laguni, Mark Steven Brooks, Peermusic, and the Institute for Advanced Study, as well as Alison Bolton and the outstanding staff of the Albany Symphony.