Big Brother (2014) by Peter Josheff
for piccolo
World premiere

Big Brother for piccolo solo is dedicated to Tod Brody in celebration of Earplay’s 30th season.

Thinking about composing a short celebration piece for Tod to play, I was immediately drawn to the low register of the piccolo. All the flutes are nice down there but the piccolo is especially nice. Musical material: accidental, fortuitous, grabbed out of thin air, along with the thought that sustaining a mood for a few minutes should be a snap. No fuss, no frills...

Tod and I have sat next to each other on stage and in rehearsal for many years doing all kinds of music. He has always been even-tempered, rock-steady, super-professional, a fantastic musician and a calming influence on whatever jumpy reactiveness I have to offer. Role model. Honorary big brother.

As the last remaining original performing member of the Earplay ensemble I have memories of each of the venues we’ve played and the numerous personnel changes we’ve undergone over this past 30 years. I remember typing postcards and programs on my newly-purchased Brother electric typewriter (with correction tape built in!). Photocopying and pasting graphics. Licking stamps before taking postcards to the post office. Our first bulk mail rubber stamp. I remember photo shoots in West Oakland. I’ve held on to most of my own performance parts. My music room is populated with boxes of photocopies. Keep in mind that these copies — whether for good or ill — will last longer than PDFs for sure, so what I’m saying is don’t throw away xeroxes. (But, you’re right, it does add up to lot of music lying around.) Happy Birthday Earplay!

— P. J.    

[from program for May 18, 2015 concert]