Tenor steelpan: Daron Roberts
Bass steelpan: Yuko Asada
Last summer, I wrote a piece for tenor and bass called “HIIT” and performed with Liam Teague at Birch Creek Music Performance Center. My goal was to create a collection of 3 short pieces and call it “Opposite Attraction”, showcasing two instruments that are not commonly used in a duet setting. I ended up giving the work a generic title, “3 Short Pieces for Tenor Steelpan and Bass Steelpan” later on. I may change it back though. I don't know.
I wrote “Departure” after witnessing the strong emotion that was expressed by Cliff Alexis on the passing of Dr. Ellie Mannette. The depth of his sadness was profound. I immediately started hearing a melody line, and just started writing. In general, I think there’s beauty in all things even if it may be something sad, negative, dark, etc. And I hope I was able to express that in this piece.
I, of course, had no idea what was to happen when I recorded the pieces with Daron during Thanksgiving break last year. I had no idea that Cliff was to have two surgeries in mid-December. And to be gone in January. He never heard the pieces. I didn’t get a chance to play them for him…
This collection is for you Cliff. And this piece is for you and Ellie.
Thank you Daron for playing the piece beautifully.