Glenn Stallcop Composer, Performer
SUITE FROM ‘JESSICA’ (2007)
for violin and piano
6 Mvts., 26 Mins.
The Suite from Jessica is available from American Composers Alliance.
When I was in school at the University of Washington, I was approached by a friend of mine to become involved in an original musical. He and his friends had written a script and lyrics and wanted me to write the music. I had never done that before and was interested. The soundtrack was to be recorded with the cast essentially dancing the stage action. A recorded soundtrack allowed me to include quite a bit of electronic music, which I had been experimenting with, as well as to write the songs.
The story was basically a coming of age story of a girl who had a habit of escaping into full fledged fantasy of the hobbit, dragon, and troll variety. She dislikes her mother and idolizes her father. She retreats into fantasy more and more until it becomes a full fledged mental issue.
The project actually became more serious than I expected, as it secured some funding and the songs were being recorded In Los Angeles when the funding was pulled and everything fizzled. I was left with doused expectations and a lot of unused music. A couple of songs made it into a cycle, Rain, Rain, that I wrote a couple of years later, and I collected the electronic music into a suite, but much was untouched. When my son was in high school and seriously studying the violin, about thirty years later, I got the idea to arrange some of the songs for violin and piano. By the time I got around to doing it, however, he was in college and no longer interested. My colleague from the Phoenix Symphony, Ron Whaley, performed a couple of the songs in various educational settings.
When setting songs which are primarily strophic with several verses, it is a challenge because you do not have different words to keep up the interest. I decided to write variations instead, so I could keep the original form of the songs intact. There is nothing serious about any of the songs, as they were meant to be merely entertaining from the start.