I am proud to announce that I have been named as one of the winners of 2019 Bassoon Chamber Music Composition Competition. Dances with Quarks for bassoon and string trio was one of two works chosen to be performed on January 14, 2020 at Lynn Conservatory’s New Music Festival in Boca Raton, Florida. In addition to the performance, Dances with Quarks will be published by Imagine Music in the coming year, which will be my first non-self-published work!

Dances with Quarks

Dances with Quarks is my most recent work for bassoon. I composed it earlier this year expressly for submission to this competition. I am hopeful that it will be the type of work that will receive many performances in the future. The program notes are below.

Quarks are subatomic particles that are thought to be the building blocks of all matter. They actually come together to form protons and neutrons. Jess Hendricks has a passing fascination with these mysterious (at least to the composer) particles and how they all come together. It almost seems as though there exists some kind of “microverse” that physicists describe in smaller detail every few years.

Dances with Quarks celebrates these tiny particles that are, in essence, everything. This piece is both whimsical and introspective. The work is divided into three sections predominantly, the main ‘dance’ theme, a middle section that is markedly smoother and more melodic, and the return of the dance theme in an augmented fashion. The meter is free and constantly evolving, reminiscent of the chaos of the microverse, but at the same time evocative of the seeming order from that randomness. There is also a persistent dialogue between the bassoon and strings that illustrates the myriad of “colors” in the universe as well as in music.

Program notes, Dr. Jess Hendricks