This site is home to Alea Publishing & Recording, specializing in music for the bass clarinet.
We offer a growing catalog of creative, artistic transcriptions and new works for bass clarinet solo & ensemble.
About the Work
Performance notes courtesy of the composer:
Ghost Town Sketches for clarinet, viola and piano was composed in 1994. The following quote by Edward Abbey from The Brave Cowboy served as inspiration:
There is a valley in the West where phantoms brood and mourn,pale phontoms dying of nostalgia and bitterness.You can hear them, shivering and chatteringamong the leaves of the old dry mortal cottonwoods down by the river...whispering and moaning and hissing with the wind...whining theirpast away with the wild dove and the mockingbird...and you may see one,touch one, in the silences and space and mute terror of the night.
Each movement is inspired by a different ghost town I have visited. There are several cowboy tunes interwoven into the fabric of the piece. The dates and times in the titles are fanciful, but inspired by imagined scenes in each abandoned building.
1. October 31, 1888. Midnight.
2. February 14, 1888. Afternoon.
3. July 4, 1889. Noon.
4. March 21st, 1852. Daybreak.
5. November 25, 1889. Sundown.
6. December 24, 1892. 5:38 pm.
Duration: 13 minutes.
Piano score: 37 pages, spiral bound. Parts: 8-12 pages, booklet.
About the Composer
Born in 1951, composer John Carbon's eclectic musical background accounts for the wide variety of styles that he now embraces in his work. During his high school years he played and wrote for a rock band, but he also performed standard classical repertoire as a pianist and clarinetist, composing orchestral works that were influenced by Stravinsky and Prokofiev. His father played jazz saxophone, and some of Carbon's works, notably his Clarinet Concerto (1993), written for Richard Stoltzman and the Warsaw Philharmonic, incorporate bluesy harmonies and rhythms.
Recently, an ever-more lyrical and tonal tendency can be heard in John Carbon's music, along with an increased interest in contrapuntal textures. His music is rhythmically propulsive, sometimes as a result of the introduction of vernacular styles such as ragtime and tango. Most of his later work is aligned with his own unique version of "the new tonality," but at the same time his music falls firmly in the post-modern camp, meaning that he fuses different styles from past eras with the present to create his own highly accessible and distinctive voice.
Much of John Carbon's orchestral music, including the concerti for clarinet, piano, trumpet and double bass, has been recorded by the Warsaw Philharmonic, Slovak Radio Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, New York Chamber Symphony, Concordia and the Seattle Symphony. Conductors who have performed and recorded his music include Gerard Schwarz, George Manahan, and Maron Alsop. Performances have included premieres in Boston's Symphony Hall, New York's Avery Fisher, Alice Tully, Merkin and Carnegie Halls, Smetena Hall in Prague, the Mozarteum in Salzburg, and the Wuhan Conservatory in China.
Recordings of John Carbon's music can be found on the Naxos, Delos, MMC, CGS, Moonbridge, Emeritus, VMM and Zimbel labels. His primary publisher is JCcollections, and scores can be purchased from Sheetmusicplus, J. W. Pepper, Wehr's Music House, Alea Publishing and Lulu. He is presently the Richard S. and Ann B. Barshinger Professor of Music at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Duo Alea, the father-daughter duo of Michael and Kimberly Davenport, began performing music for bass clarinet and piano in 1996. As performers searching for new repertoire and teachers working with students eager to develop as performers, it quickly became clear that there was a need for more repertoire featuring the bass clarinet. Filling this need became the mission of Alea Publishing & Recording.
Since our first publication in 1997, the Alea catalog has now grown to include over 300 titles. We pride ourselves on the accuracy and quality of our sheet music, as well as our ability to ship directly to customers around the world.
We are proud of the diversity of our catalog in terms of the inclusion of works by composers and arrangers from around the world. We are interested in continuing to expand this diversity, representing musical ideas from around the world.
Following Michael's passing in 2019, Kim has taken over solo management of Alea Publishing. In 2020, Alea established the Dolphy Prize, an annual composition award for new works for bass clarinet by black composers.
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