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Khaen-dle (Alto Saxophone Ensemble)

Alto Saxophone Ensemble | Grade 4 | 5′ | 2023/2024

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Program Note

Khaen-dle (2023/2024)
For Alto Saxophone Ensemble

Khaen-dle for Alto Saxophone Ensemble fuses the essence of two cultural elements: Khaen, the bamboo free-reed mouth organ in the Northeast Thailand and Laos region, and the symbolic illumination of candles in Thai tradition. This composition translates the distinctive qualities of the Khaen into the melodic and harmonic realm through the sounds of seven alto saxophones. Composed from the Thai melodic mode (lai), the piece weaves a tapestry of alternating sections, each with its own emotive resonance.

As night falls, the musical scene unfolds, illuminated by the soft glow of candles. Against this backdrop, the saxophone soloist emerges, their melody echoing through the night. Transitioning into a lively dance section, the saxophone ensemble splits into two groups, mirroring the rhythmic interplay of two Khaen instruments.

In the midst of the music, a moment of reflection emerges, with the saxophone soloist accompanied by an echo from the ensemble, adding layers of depth to the harmonic landscape. As the journey reaches its climax, the music returns to the spirited dance, culminating in a triumphant crescendo of sonorous Khaen-like saxophone tones.

Khaen-dle was originally composed for Trumpet Ensemble and was commissioned by Mahidol University Trumpet Studio for performance in International Trumpet Guild Conference 2023, United States.