Texas, a piano, the pedal steel guitar and Aaron Cassidy!

In 2021 Aaron Cassidy will begin to compose another major ensemble work -commissioned by ELISION and funded by the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation through their wonderful Grant-in-Aid programme.

Conceived for solo piano, and an obbligato ensemble of pedal steel guitar, harp, percussion, & live electronics, contrabass clarinet, tenor saxophone, bassoon, trombone, cello, double bass, the new work will have a duration of approximately 25 minutes.

Aaron writes, “The somewhat unconventional instrumentation foregrounds some experimental work I have done with Daryl Buckley on the pedal steel guitar during residencies in Austin, Texas, in 2017–18 (working with pedal steel masters Marty Muse and Bob Hoffnar, as well as my own brother Brian Cassidy), and builds on work I’ve done with the pianist Alex Waite since 2018 looking at various jazz keyboard traditions (particularly through the playing of McCoy Tyner, but also Art Tatum, Thelonius Monk, and Cecil Taylor, among others). The pedal steel opens a bit of an unknown path for me—I grew up in Texas, so I was surrounded by the sound of the instrument as a child, and I have a particular fondness for its role in traditional Country & Western music.”

Aaron has been working with ELISION for close to two decades. This is a fantastic project that enables us to deepen and extend a valued artistic relationship even further, bringing into the play the newer generation of ELISION musicians.

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