Songs and Dances
for oboe and bassoon
by John Steinmetz (b.1951) - American composer, bassoonist, writer, satirist, speaker
The music of Songs and Dances grew from things that I love: the lilting groove of a certain Bach aria, drum patterns from a West African processional in a similar groove, a heart-stopping song in a Shakespeare production (it turned out to be an American folk song called "Long Time Traveller"), and some infectious joy bursting from a pop song on the radio. It was a while before I knew where any of it was leading. Quotations, alterations, and additions came into play, and gradually this suite took shape. I hope that it will enjoyable enough and roomy enough for players and listeners to breathe life into it. Thanks to Bill Douglas who introduced me to that Bach aria, "Mache dich, mein Hertz, rein" from the St Matthew Passion.