Dangerous Coats


for Baritone saxophone and piano (2020)



Joshua Thomas, saxophone
Simon Holt, piano


7 min.


baritone saxophone and piano

Program Notes

Dangerous Coats was inspired by a poem of the same name by Sharon Owens. The poem talks about how women weren’t allowed to have pockets because they might use them to carry seditious materials. At the end, the author encourages women to start sewing “dangerous coats full of pockets and sedition.” It led me to envision a growing cabal of women gleefully sneaking around with their pockets filled with colorful flyers about equality and similarly ‘treasonous’ ideas.

The opening music seeks to convey the energetic rush I imagined such women would feel. A contrasting, slower section follows. A bit darker, perhaps it represents the quiet tragedy of an unfulfilled life, a life pretending to be something you are not. But then the original materials returns, sweeping forward with irrepressible excitement to the end.

The work was commissioned by Joshua Thomas and a consortium of saxophonists/teachers through the Smart Repertoire Project, an initiative designed to cultivate contemporary repertoire for developing saxophonists.


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