Duluth

duration: 8:30
instrumentation: Saxophone Quartet (SATB)
premiere: May 21, 2010 // St. Peter’s Church (Chelsea)
premiere performer: Anubis Quartet
publisher: A-Town Publications (ASCAP) © 2010
Duluth was made possible (in part) with funds from the decentralization program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts, administered by the Queens Council on the Arts.

Program Note:
I have childhood memories of family trips to Duluth, Minnesota, especially walks to the harbor to watch the ships dock. Hollow sounds of lower saxophones conjure up images of the northern port city on an icy, overcast day, returning again and again, guiding the piece forward. Ships begin as small specks in the distance, slowly yet deliberately approaching, the sound of the air horns drawing closer in the cold wind, faint outlines growing larger, coming into focus, the tiny tugboats maneuvering skillfully around them, their bobbing green hulls and bright red cabins smiling back – friendly façades for beasts of unimaginable power, wrestling massive freighters many times their weight, their bows breaking ice on impact, forcing through the unforgiving waters of Lake Superior. The aerial bridge creaks upward, cradling tons of roadway and metal, the full figured body of the laker sliding past, its intimidating profile barreling down on the shoreline, the towlines pulling back, braking, slowing, gliding to a gentle halt.

During the 1940’s and 50’s my grandfather, Marshall Donald Bryant, a former navy officer, worked for the Great Lakes Towing Company serving the Twin Ports of Duluth-Superior, the largest and westernmost port in the Great Lakes Seaway. This piece is dedicated to his memory.                                             —Erin Rogers (2010)

Duluth from Erin Rogers on Vimeo.

Purchase Sheet Music: Duluth