Pepper LaBejia Storms The Ballroom Floor

ensemble: clarinet, bass clarinet, 2 percussion, solo piano, violin, viola, 'cello
duration: 4 minutes
written: summer 2017
written for: Kevin Madison
premiered: November 7th, 2017; Boston Conservatory at Berklee, Boston, MA

Kevin Madison and I initially kicked off our friendship obsessing over odd rhythms in "classical" music. I've always wanted to write a piece that functions purely as a rhythm machine; slowly morphing one groove into another one. Pepper LaBejia..., taken from the alter ego of a famous drag queen filmed in the 1990 documentary Paris Is Burning, has little to do with harmony and melody but has all to do with using this small ensemble as an 8 part drum kit. The piece is dedicated to the brilliant musician, thinker, listener, writer, composer, (too many other things to mention), Kevin Madison.