John Gordon Armstrong

Canadian Composer


Listen Up!

Listen Up! was written in the summer and fall of 1998 for Jean-Guy Brault and SaxArt, a saxophone quartet based in Ottawa. It was conceived as an overture, a brilliant fanfare intended to open a concert. It should be played (at least) as fast as indicated and with bravura. It is intended to please the audience, to lift them out of their seats and open their ears to the concert that follows. It is also, however, a challenging piece both for the performers and for the listeners. The idiom is complex, highly contrapuntal and although “tonal,” (as one might describe the music of Bartok or Messaien as tonal) extremely dissonant at times.

Listen Up! was given its première by SaxArt on February 6, 1999 as part of the Almonte Town Hall Series.

Composed in 1998 for Saxophone Quartet
Duration: 10 minutes
Published: Canadian Music Centre (Toronto)