David bennett thomas
David Bennett Thomas (b. 1969) is a prolific composer who has composed music for chamber groups, soloists, and choruses around the world. He is also active performing and recording in the jazz realm. Thomas has received commissions, grants, and awards from many organizations over the past decade. He lives in the Philadelphia area, where he teaches at The University of the Arts, as chair of both the Composition and Theory Departments.
A mutual friend first introduced Rachael and David in 2012. David had just composed a piece for bass clarinet and percussion ensemble that interested Rachael. Unfortunately, that performance didn’t come to fruition, but their communications did initiate the idea for a trio piece from David. About a year later he was working on Squall for us. Trillium has performed his piece several times, but believe it or not, we have never met David in person. Thank goodness for the internet!
Here is a bit about Squall in David’s words “Squall was composed in the wicked winter of 2014, when the northeast of the US was continuously smacked by blistering temperatures and blanketed with several feet of snow. It was my first time composing for the Trillium Ensemble, from Pittsburgh, PA. I was quite impressed by what I heard and saw online of their performances. My initial reaction was admiration for the obvious dedication and devotion to new music that their performances revealed. I could tell they were serious about music. I like colors and images in music. For instance, I like to hear a flute play a line, with the piano doubling it while letting the notes ring with the pedal, as a memory of what was just played, reminding us and slowly fading. Kind of like seeing the trail behind a jet across a blue sky. We can see where the jet, or flute, has been for a little while before it finally fades. I like shapes. For instance, having the wind instruments swell, but then punctuated and cut off by the piano. I like swirling textures. Ideas echoing. Repeating fragments that slowly change their definition as things around them change. Things morphing into something new. Little atmospheres that just kind of exist on their own terms and create their own mood that I don't understand even though I wrote them. Instruments chasing each other. These are all ideas I had when composing this piece. I mostly wanted to give the instrumentalists something hopefully coherent and convincing that they can have fun playing while making some interesting sounds in the process. I hope you enjoy it.”