Links II was written in 2006. The original version, for clarinet and cello, was commissioned by William Conable and Jane Ellsworth, who premiered it in Nanking, China. The transcription for alto saxophone and cello was done in 2008 at the request of Paul Bro and Kurt Fowler.
The work is a continuation, in a way, of the original Links, written in 2004. This work was one of a series of works, by myself and three other composers (Dorothy Chang, Sue Dellinger, and John Roscingo) commissioned by hornist Brian Kilp. All of us were commissioned to write a suite of four short movements for clarinet, horn, cello, and piano, with the idea being that a performance could consist of randomly selected movements from each suite, and would change from one performance to the next.
Links, my contribution to the project, included a fifth movement as a sort of bonus track, a duet for clarinet and cello called The Opposite of Orange. At a performance that took place at Ohio State University, the clarinettist and cellist were Jane Ellsworth and William Conable, faculty members there at the time. Later they would perform my little duet as a stand-alone work, and soon asked me to include it in a suite of short pieces for them.
The resulting piece, naturally, was Links II, which shares a movement in common with Links. It can also be used as a continuation of the same idea, with movements from both pieces being mixed, as well as any future works in the Links series, or even movements from the other three works involved in the original project (assuming it’s all right with the other composers, of course).
Recordings below are from my composition recital of January 30, 2009, performed by Paul Bro, alto saxophone, and Kurt Fowler, cello.
1. Keep Going!
2. Cloudy This Morning
3. The Opposite Of Orange
4. Rain This Afternoon (tango)
5. Flight of Fancy