Commissioned by the Donald Sinta Quartet
Hybrid Instinct is inspired by the mongrel nature of the saxophone—an instrument made of brass but classified as a woodwind—and more generally by the concepts of betweenness and false dichotomies. What is between beauty and ugliness? What is between pitch and noise? Can something be both beautiful and ugly, or pitched and noisy? Saxophonists, perhaps music’s greatest chameleons, are used to playing many different kinds of music from jazz and rock to quaint French music and gnarly new music. For sax players, pluralism is instinctual. In other words, the saxophone is an instrument of versatility, capable of a wide range of stylistic and performative diversity—and the perfect medium through which to explore questions of betweenness. In the spirit of such possibilities, I aimed to have the saxophonists whisper, yelp, dance, dream, sing, breathe, howl, chirp, and chatter. Hybrid Instinct was commissioned by and is dedicated to the Donald Sinta Quartet.