Slang (1994) by Libby Larsen
for clarinet, violin, and piano
West Coast premiere

Slang (1990) is a one-movement work in three sections. Its title references a culture's evolution of its own lexicon of sound-bytes to express itself to itself in short hand. I'm fascinated by this idea. Considering the vast array of musical languages which are available to us on a daily basis, I set about to compose Slang. An abstracted country fiddle gesture provides a structure in which jazz and boogie slang combine twentieth century 'new music' slang, rounded off by a coda cadenza build on a rock and roll strumming pattern. Slang asks the performers to freely change performance styles as the musical language dictates. This piece was commissioned by the Verdehr Trio, 1990.

— L. L.    

[from program for September 18, 2006 concert]