“Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
An excerpt from Angelou’s PHENOMENAL WOMAN.
PHENOMENAL WOMEN is a concerto for Wind Quintet and Chamber Orchestra to be premiered by Imani Winds and American Composers Orchestra, inspired by Maya Angelou’s poem and book, PHENOMENAL WOMAN. As Angelou’s poem touts an empowered tone, the arc of the multi-movement work will leap through sounds of Atonality, Urban Classical, Brazilian Choro, Bebop, Swing and Afro-Cuban Jazz.
Musical motifs will be drawn from Angelou's sensuous and peppery verses. Each movement will carry emboldened harmonies and improvisational-stylized riffs from the soli, evolving into virtuoso exchanges between forces.
Between the larger movements will be short segments which I refer to as SHERO INTERLUDES (working title). These multi-faceted, cadenza-like segments not only showcase the soloists (with light support from the orchestra), but will also serve as catalysts from which main movements emerge and develop. The spirit and process behind the interludes will be informed by the efforts of phenomenal women who have energized me through their transcendental efforts: activist Malala Yousefai (Oboe serenade), Brazilian Olympic Gold medalist Rafaela Silva (Clarinet in Choro style), athlete Serena Williams (Bassoon virtuoso cadenza), Michelle Obama (Flute w Urban/Jazz elements) and Hillary Clinton (Horn fanfare). The segments will be written with the capabilities and personalities of each Imani Winds member in mind.
Phenomenal Woman is about celebrating women's efforts to overcome adversity, no matter where you are.
Concerto for Wind Quintet and Chamber Orchestra (strings, ww, br, perc, pno, hp)
Commissioned by American Composers Orchestra (ACO)
and premiered by Imani Winds
Anticipated Delivery date: January 2018
Phenomenal Women project welcomes presenting organizations, orchestras, conductors and wind quintet ensembles to join
as co-commissioners and/or presenters within the 2018-19 season and beyond.
For more information, contact Greg Evans, Operations Director of American Composers Orchestra.
For booking Imani Winds, contact Bill Capone at Arts Management Group.