Benjamin Williams

Central Park in June (2012)

I don't often find myself writing music that I specifically intend to perform myself. However, I had the pleasure to start working with two fantastic woodwind players this summer with myself on bassoon. It has been a great deal of fun getting together to simply make music. As such, when my wife, Emily, suggested that this piece reminded her of a day in the park, the image captured the sort of light-hearted fun that playing in this ensemble has been for me. Little did I know at the time that there actually is a New York/Mississippi Picnic each year in Central Park in June.

The music itself is in three movements. The first is a sort of laid-back Latin groove following a brilliant unison opening. In the middle is a slow, chorale-like theme in triple meter and jazz harmonies. The final movement picks up the tempo again into a rapid romp through various recurring melodies that finally come to a close with another unison passage, as the piece began.

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