The inspiration for Get Down goes back to the days when I was playing in rock bands in high school. I learned how to play guitar through magazine tablature and playing along to my dad’s scratchy Led Zeppelin records. When it came down to writing Get Down, I wanted to write something for an orchestral instrument, one that isn’t used frequently in popular music, as part of a rock band in order to simulate my meager beginnings. Once Anthony Parnther commissioned a piece from me for bassoon, I knew that bassoon would be perfect for Get Down.
I used a recording of a section from Charles Dickens’s Our Mutual Friend as the text of this piece. The phrase “Get down to life,” exemplifies the optimism that I wanted to portray. Get Down is an optimistic, funkafied piece for bassoon and pre-recorded electronics based on a teenager playing guitar to his dad’s Led Zeppelin albums.
P.S. That is me doing the Moonwalk on a picnic table in Long Beach at age 6.