Rude Moods began with an idea to create a “raging hot blues solo” for bassoon with Ryan Reynolds. As the project got delayed and rethought, it got expanded. While the idea simmered in the back of my mind, I could not help think: What would it look like to create a collection of solos that explored a variety of untapped skills for bassoon players? What if this became an opportunity to demonstrate on some scale the multitude of characters, attitudes, and identities that bassoon players can exhibit in their performance?
With the help of Ryan, we came up with the idea for 12 miniatures to be commissioned by 12 different soloists. Each movement of this work was then inspired by the musical interests, abilities, playing, and feedback of a single player. My hope was to give each performer an opportunity to have a say in crafting a short solo for the bassoon they knew and loved so well and, in the process, create a suite of miniatures solos that can serve as a snapshot for each of their identities, skills, and the breadth of the instrument is capabilities.
There are movements throughout this suite that ask the performer to stretch musical muscles they might never have used before -- playing blues, improvising, being a little childish and comedic. There are also movements that take a step back and just let the beauty of the bassoon speak for itself. The entire suite covers a vast territory of musical styles, ideas, and techniques before closing with the one that started the whole project: a “raging hot blues solo” titled Burnin’ Down the Barn.