Rock Island Line (Bancks, Jacob)

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Jbancks (2017/3/3)

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General Information

Work Title Rock Island Line
Alternative. Title
Composer Bancks, Jacob
Year/Date of CompositionY/D of Comp. 2014-15
First Performance. 2014-03-08
First Publication. 2014
Dedication Commissioned by the Quad City Symphony
Average DurationAvg. Duration 10 minutes
Composer Time PeriodComp. Period Modern
Piece Style Modern
Instrumentation Orchestra: 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons
4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba
3 percussion, strings
External Links Soundcloud

Misc. Comments

There is an old, low bridge connecting Rock Island, Illinois and Davenport, Iowa, not far from my home. Though the posted speed limit is low, I have found that driving it is actually kind of exhilarating, with the Mississippi River below and railway tracks above. With the convergence of various modes of transportation, it's the ultimate place on the way to some other place, right in the heart of “flyover country.”

In a similar fashion, I wrote two kinds of music into Rock Island Line: train music and river music. The train music is motoric, clanging, maybe a little rusty, but full of anticipation and expectation. The river music, on the other hand, is sweeping, broad and lyrical, and more prone to hesitation and diversion than is the train. In the final third of the piece, after a brief homage to Jazz trumpeter and Davenport native Bix Beiderbecke, the two kinds of music meet. The result is, I hope, similar to the experience of driving over that bridge. In the piece's final moments I invoke the classic blues tune from which the work borrows its title.